1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Pride of America
I'm fairly new to cruising (but this isn't my first rodeo). I went on my honeymoon to POA — more so to see a bunch of islands without having to go through more than one TSA line. I, of course, saw the negative reviews and like my french fries, took them with a grain of salt. But after having a pretty lovely vacation, I want to discuss some things: This is a floating hotel without the bells and whistles. It is clean, has pretty good food, fairly decent to excellent service, smaller cabins that are still serviceable and tidy, and a really nice pool deck. There are not a ton of pool games. A lot of the activities were cancelled because of disinterest. There's not a lively night life. If you cruise because you love the activities and the hustle and bustle of the ship, and prefer to spend a lot of time on a ship trying all different kinds of drinks and meals and experiences — this is not the ship for you! If you are, instead, looking to get all you can out of a variety of islands and want a nice, clean place to call home every night, I think you'd enjoy it. If you're looking for a new adventure while still having some familiar comforts of a standard cruise (a great breakfast buffet, nice variety of restaurants, a fun cruise director, nightly shows, etc), than I REALLY think you'd enjoy it. DEPARTURE CITY: Spent 4 days in Waikiki Beach at the Outrigger beforehand. Would definitely recommend it for a few reasons: beautiful beaches, nice walkable city with sights like Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head, Dole Whip, Loco Moco, and catching up to jet lag. I didn't do it with the ship, I preferred to do my own thing. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Truly easy as pie. Probably 20 minutes from shore to ship both ways. We chose to walk off with our bags, and if you can swing it, do it. SHIP: Clean, except for the 6th floor hallway (by the library) that smells like sewage. I quickly walked through it, but I live in NYC so this is fairly normal for me. Otherwise, felt like the theme was a little antiquated but really kept very sparkling and nice. CABIN: Clean, fit a whole week's worth of clothing for two people no problem, had a nice couch, the balcony was small but offered beautiful views of the Na Pali Coast and was great to sit and drink champagne on. Bathroom offered soap, shampoo, and body wash but we brought our own. Shower curtain was a little finicky. Soft bed. DINING: We got the Ultimate Dining Plan because it was our honeymoon and there would be no more pictures of me in white so I wanted to gorge myself up like a tick. MDR: was nice and the Liberty Dining Room had the best, best service of the whole trip. Really friendly waiters ready with recommendations and customizations. Food was pretty good, but there were some misses, so don't be afraid to order a few extra dishes. BUFFET: Always busy and hard to get seating, and the variety wasn't that strong (typically pizza, American station, fruit/cheese/cold cuts, one specialty section, Asian, and Indian/veg section), but the breakfast was fantasticccccc and the ice cream machine always worked well. If you were looking to get snacks on off hours, the choices were limited, but who can resist mac and cheese? SPECIALITY: Moderno was our least favorite — the salad bar was amazing but there was too much food cooked either wildly over- or underdone. That being said, if you want to load up on meats, go for it. Cagney's was the best. The sides were fantastic (mash! creamed corn!) and the meat was cooked exactly as requested. Felt like something you'd find onshore. La Cucina was also pretty great. A ton of food that was very rich, so come hungry and don't be scared of butter or cream. Finally, Teppanyaki was a must-do. Really fun show and the food was quite tasty. If I could do it again, I would have just done a 3-meal package because the MDR was better than I expected and would have loved to try it one more time. DRINKS: The bartenders were the high point if they liked you! Some of the best drinks were made by some of the friendliest people, which is good because you're paying a ton for them. Other bartenders were a little bit ornery, but in a fun gruff way that you can at least expect in NYC. Be prepared to wait for drinks for a bit at the pool bar, but idk man! It's the pool! It's relaxing! I wouldn't get the unlimited package. You'd have to drink more than 8 drinks a day for it to be worth it, and this is not a late night ship. We are not afraid of a few drinks on vacation, and we still came in almost 500 under what the total price would have been. I suggest ordering champagne to the room. Best bars were the pool bar and the Gold Rush Saloon. ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: Not the ship for it. Went to see the magician and did the '70's dance party, and found that we much preferred loafing on our bed watching movies. It gets quiet and they cancel a ton of stuff (trivia and Mr Sexy Legs at least) because nobody shows up. I didn't mind that because I was getting up early and am not really an activities girl, but if this is big for you I don't recommend this ship. Clay was a fun cruise director though! SERVICE: Sometimes good, sometimes meh. Never horrible. Mostly just slow, but again, you could probably pour a beer on my head and I wouldn't complain to the manager. I mean, I would, but quietly. I wasn't offended by the service in the slightest, and there were some great shining stars throughout the trip. PORTS/EXCURSIONS: The best part!!! Did a few with the ship and one on my own: 1. Maui Day One — did Molokini Turtle Snorkel with the Pacific Whale Foundation. My goodness, do this one if you're even slightly interested! Swam right next to a turtle, saw a ton of fish, met really smart, informative guides, had the time of my life. Water was blue and beautiful and lovely. 2. Maui Day Two — did Atlantis Submarine/Lahaina. I MIGHT do this separate from the ship next time because it's really just a disorganized bus ride to a town where there's plenty of amazing things to see and do, but the Submarine was really cool and we saw sharks and fish. You could definitely sign up right in town. The town was great and had lots of fun shops. I wonder if you could take a cab there (or arrange for your own transportation) and skip the bus ride, but because the ship leaves on day 2 I'd recommend trying that on the overnight stay (day 1) so you don't need to worry. 3. Hilo — we did the black sand beach tour, went to the waterfalls and visited some of the steam vents from the recent eruption there. Very cool. Also visited the mac nut factory. Our tour guide Traven was so interesting and fun. It was a great reminder that Hawaii isn't just all beaches, it's got gorgeous, lush, Jurassic Park land. 4. Kona — Just tendered. Easy tender process but get a ticket early. I'd say try to get back to the boat by 2pm — no lines then. We just went to Kona Brewery and enjoyed a walk through town. Absolutely beautiful water, so I almost regret not booking a snorkel. There IS a public beach right by the tender boats though. 5. Kaui — Did the Smith's Family Luau with bus transportation independent of the ship. Life changing. DO IT. The food was incredible, as was the show. Really authentic, family oriented, and gorgeous. The grounds were amazing and we saw tons of animals, too. Listen, we had an amazing honeymoon. Hawaii is a gorgeous island. WHEN we come back, we'd probably just stay in Maui a few days as it was our favorite island. But if you want a once-in-a-lifetime look at a bunch of islands, please push some of the negative reviews aside, come with an open mind, and enjoy the beauty of this state. If you LOVE cruising and mostly cruise just to be on the ship, though, I'd stay away from this trip. Otherwise, you'll have a great time! :)

A Really Fun Cruise If You Know What To Expect

Pride of America Cruise Review by dearsister88

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
I'm fairly new to cruising (but this isn't my first rodeo). I went on my honeymoon to POA — more so to see a bunch of islands without having to go through more than one TSA line.

I, of course, saw the negative reviews and like my french fries, took them with a grain of salt. But after having a pretty lovely vacation, I want to discuss some things:

This is a floating hotel without the bells and whistles. It is clean, has pretty good food, fairly decent to excellent service, smaller cabins that are still serviceable and tidy, and a really nice pool deck. There are not a ton of pool games. A lot of the activities were cancelled because of disinterest. There's not a lively night life. If you cruise because you love the activities and the hustle and bustle of the ship, and prefer to spend a lot of time on a ship trying all different kinds of drinks and meals and experiences — this is not the ship for you!

If you are, instead, looking to get all you can out of a variety of islands and want a nice, clean place to call home every night, I think you'd enjoy it. If you're looking for a new adventure while still having some familiar comforts of a standard cruise (a great breakfast buffet, nice variety of restaurants, a fun cruise director, nightly shows, etc), than I REALLY think you'd enjoy it.

DEPARTURE CITY: Spent 4 days in Waikiki Beach at the Outrigger beforehand. Would definitely recommend it for a few reasons: beautiful beaches, nice walkable city with sights like Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head, Dole Whip, Loco Moco, and catching up to jet lag. I didn't do it with the ship, I preferred to do my own thing.

EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Truly easy as pie. Probably 20 minutes from shore to ship both ways. We chose to walk off with our bags, and if you can swing it, do it.

SHIP: Clean, except for the 6th floor hallway (by the library) that smells like sewage. I quickly walked through it, but I live in NYC so this is fairly normal for me. Otherwise, felt like the theme was a little antiquated but really kept very sparkling and nice.

CABIN: Clean, fit a whole week's worth of clothing for two people no problem, had a nice couch, the balcony was small but offered beautiful views of the Na Pali Coast and was great to sit and drink champagne on. Bathroom offered soap, shampoo, and body wash but we brought our own. Shower curtain was a little finicky. Soft bed.

DINING: We got the Ultimate Dining Plan because it was our honeymoon and there would be no more pictures of me in white so I wanted to gorge myself up like a tick. MDR: was nice and the Liberty Dining Room had the best, best service of the whole trip. Really friendly waiters ready with recommendations and customizations. Food was pretty good, but there were some misses, so don't be afraid to order a few extra dishes. BUFFET: Always busy and hard to get seating, and the variety wasn't that strong (typically pizza, American station, fruit/cheese/cold cuts, one specialty section, Asian, and Indian/veg section), but the breakfast was fantasticccccc and the ice cream machine always worked well. If you were looking to get snacks on off hours, the choices were limited, but who can resist mac and cheese? SPECIALITY: Moderno was our least favorite — the salad bar was amazing but there was too much food cooked either wildly over- or underdone. That being said, if you want to load up on meats, go for it. Cagney's was the best. The sides were fantastic (mash! creamed corn!) and the meat was cooked exactly as requested. Felt like something you'd find onshore. La Cucina was also pretty great. A ton of food that was very rich, so come hungry and don't be scared of butter or cream. Finally, Teppanyaki was a must-do. Really fun show and the food was quite tasty. If I could do it again, I would have just done a 3-meal package because the MDR was better than I expected and would have loved to try it one more time.

DRINKS: The bartenders were the high point if they liked you! Some of the best drinks were made by some of the friendliest people, which is good because you're paying a ton for them. Other bartenders were a little bit ornery, but in a fun gruff way that you can at least expect in NYC. Be prepared to wait for drinks for a bit at the pool bar, but idk man! It's the pool! It's relaxing! I wouldn't get the unlimited package. You'd have to drink more than 8 drinks a day for it to be worth it, and this is not a late night ship. We are not afraid of a few drinks on vacation, and we still came in almost 500 under what the total price would have been. I suggest ordering champagne to the room. Best bars were the pool bar and the Gold Rush Saloon.

ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: Not the ship for it. Went to see the magician and did the '70's dance party, and found that we much preferred loafing on our bed watching movies. It gets quiet and they cancel a ton of stuff (trivia and Mr Sexy Legs at least) because nobody shows up. I didn't mind that because I was getting up early and am not really an activities girl, but if this is big for you I don't recommend this ship. Clay was a fun cruise director though!

SERVICE: Sometimes good, sometimes meh. Never horrible. Mostly just slow, but again, you could probably pour a beer on my head and I wouldn't complain to the manager. I mean, I would, but quietly. I wasn't offended by the service in the slightest, and there were some great shining stars throughout the trip.

PORTS/EXCURSIONS: The best part!!! Did a few with the ship and one on my own:

1. Maui Day One — did Molokini Turtle Snorkel with the Pacific Whale Foundation. My goodness, do this one if you're even slightly interested! Swam right next to a turtle, saw a ton of fish, met really smart, informative guides, had the time of my life. Water was blue and beautiful and lovely.

2. Maui Day Two — did Atlantis Submarine/Lahaina. I MIGHT do this separate from the ship next time because it's really just a disorganized bus ride to a town where there's plenty of amazing things to see and do, but the Submarine was really cool and we saw sharks and fish. You could definitely sign up right in town. The town was great and had lots of fun shops. I wonder if you could take a cab there (or arrange for your own transportation) and skip the bus ride, but because the ship leaves on day 2 I'd recommend trying that on the overnight stay (day 1) so you don't need to worry.

3. Hilo — we did the black sand beach tour, went to the waterfalls and visited some of the steam vents from the recent eruption there. Very cool. Also visited the mac nut factory. Our tour guide Traven was so interesting and fun. It was a great reminder that Hawaii isn't just all beaches, it's got gorgeous, lush, Jurassic Park land.

4. Kona — Just tendered. Easy tender process but get a ticket early. I'd say try to get back to the boat by 2pm — no lines then. We just went to Kona Brewery and enjoyed a walk through town. Absolutely beautiful water, so I almost regret not booking a snorkel. There IS a public beach right by the tender boats though.

5. Kaui — Did the Smith's Family Luau with bus transportation independent of the ship. Life changing. DO IT. The food was incredible, as was the show. Really authentic, family oriented, and gorgeous. The grounds were amazing and we saw tons of animals, too.

Listen, we had an amazing honeymoon. Hawaii is a gorgeous island. WHEN we come back, we'd probably just stay in Maui a few days as it was our favorite island. But if you want a once-in-a-lifetime look at a bunch of islands, please push some of the negative reviews aside, come with an open mind, and enjoy the beauty of this state. If you LOVE cruising and mostly cruise just to be on the ship, though, I'd stay away from this trip. Otherwise, you'll have a great time! :)
dearsister88’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian (NCL) Pride of America price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews