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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I, retired seniors, decided to take our grandchildren (ages 15, 13, 11) to Hawaii. We wanted to see as many of the islands as possible, but did not want to fly from island to island and stay in different hotels every day or ... Read More
My wife and I, retired seniors, decided to take our grandchildren (ages 15, 13, 11) to Hawaii. We wanted to see as many of the islands as possible, but did not want to fly from island to island and stay in different hotels every day or two. We opted for a cruise, and found that the seven day cruise offered by Norwegian Cruise Lines was our best choice. The cruise offers one to two night stays at Oahu, Maui, Hawaii big island, and Kauai. Other cruise lines depart from the mainland and spend more time at sea than in port. The cruise ship, Pride of America, completely met our expectations. We obtained two balcony staterooms on the 9th deck forward. The staterooms were adjoining with doors so we could let the kids have a room for themselves but could reach them without leaving our stateroom. We participated in only a few shipboard activities as we spent as much time ashore as possible. One major feature for our 11 year old grandson was the sports deck (level 14) with a large basketball court and swimming pools. He was there almost every minute we were shipboard except for meals. The other kids used the arcade a bit, but mostly liked the sports deck, pool, fitness center, and running on deck 6. We seniors enjoyed one variety show and a magic act that were entertaining. Service was uniformly good onboard. Most wait staff were prompt, professional, and attentive; some offered useful suggestions. We have gone on cruises on other lines and these personnel rated above all the others. Two service delays occurred in the main dining rooms Skyline and Liberty. In one case our meal was delayed, but our waitperson brought us extra pastry and drinks and was apologetic. The other case involved an inattentive waitperson who went off with our ship charge card for long periods and forgot to offer us a dessert menu. Those delays were slightly annoying, insignificant in the larger sense. We signed up for Norwegian’s shore excursions. We enjoyed Haleakala Crater at Maui, surfing at Lahaina, Maui, Botanical Garden at Hilo, Hawaii, snorkeling at Kona, Hawaii, Waimea Canyon and Luau Kalamaku at Kauai, horseback riding on Kauai, and the Wailea River and Fern Grotto at Kauai. Upon return to Oahu we visited the Polynesian Cultural Center and Luau (Roberts Tour) and Pearl Harbor (Royal Hawaiian Limousine via Viator) arranged on our own, not through Norwegian. All tours were well organized with knowledgeable, entertaining tour guides. We enjoyed all of them. Our staterooms were very nice although small. They were clean and well maintained, with no plumbing problems or odors. The balconies were very nice with unobstructed views on the starboard forward side of the ship (9056 & 9058). Elevator service was adequate, surprising given the number of passengers onboard. The only real crowding problem was getting to the midships gangway in the morning when everyone is trying to disembark. We were all completely satisfied with dining onboard. We used the Skyline and Liberty (one night dress-up) and Aloha Café primarily. The kids loved the gelatos and pool-side milk shakes. A family favorite was the Lava cake at Skyline. Our first-night waitperson helpfully explained the menu which included entrees that appealed to our vegetarian, our fish-eater, and our carnivores. The only disappointment of the trip was the closing of Volcanoes National Park-but we sailed past the Kilauea eruption after dark, a spectacular sight. Although contributing to the enjoyment of the trip, we were filled with sympathy for the residents who had lost their homes to the lava flow. Another marvelous sight was the sail past the Na’Pali coast of Kauai on our return to Oahu on the last night of the cruise. Disembarkation at Oahu provided two methods. One was the usual, where you leave your bag outside your stateroom by midnight the night before, and the other was to haul the bag yourself the morning of disembarkation. We chose self-hauling, as we feared delays on the pier finding all our bags would make us late for a shore excursion in Oahu. With elevators close to our cabins it was not too hard. We used Roberts for transportation in Waikiki and found them to be reliable. We stayed at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa for one night before departure and two nights after return to Oahu. It was very nice with an ocean view, but very expensive (like everything on Waikiki). The kids loved the beach and shopping nearby. It served as a starting point for our two Oahu shore excursions. We enjoyed Norwegian Cruise Line shore excursions, but do not miss the Pearl Harbor excursion. Unfortunately the boat ramp on the Arizona Memorial remains out of service and you cannot go on the Memorial, but the Navy ferry gets you very close to it. We enjoyed the tour of the battleship USS Missouri (Mighty Mo), and the USS Bowfin submarine. The Pacific Naval Aviation Museum was also interesting. The sub museum included an exhibit of antique pre-digital systems. The trip was not cheap, but I was satisfied with the value received. The cruise ship was $2,817 per person and shore excursions arranged through Norwegian were $761 per person. This works out to about $500/day/person. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had the hotel stay the night before at the Marriott Waikiki. Everything was well organized. The bus picked us up at 10:45 and we were on the boat by noon. We had lunch in the Aloha Café. It wasn’t crazy crowded and we had ... Read More
We had the hotel stay the night before at the Marriott Waikiki. Everything was well organized. The bus picked us up at 10:45 and we were on the boat by noon. We had lunch in the Aloha Café. It wasn’t crazy crowded and we had no problem finding a seat for 5 of us. We did have to wait until about 3:30 for our room to be ready. They announced as each floor was ready. Ours was almost last; the first floor announced was ready around 2:00. The boat was fine. The stateroom (10046) was small but as expected for a cruise ship. There was about 18 inches between the bed and the wall, so only one person could pass thru at a time. The bathroom had no place to store supplies; no shelves, etc. We did bring a shower organizer that we got on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XPRV306/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ). It hung on the 2 hooks that were already on the bathroom door. I would highly recommend this. The shower is really small; not much room to move around in there. They supply shampoo (no conditioner), liquid bath wash, liquid hand soap, a bar of soap and body lotion. There is a hairdryer and a mini bar fridge. There was room in the fridge to store our water bottles. There is plenty of storage space. We were able to store our luggage under the bed. We did bring a few folding clothes hangers. There are plenty of hangers available, but we had a lot of extra shirts and dresses, so they came in handy. We also brought some magnetic clips and magnetic hooks. I had never used these before on prior cruises but they did come in handy. The walls on this ship are metal so they worked everywhere. I bought a travel (cruise ready) power strip (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BHVKPC3/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) but didn’t need to use it. There are 3 available electrical outlets; 2 in front of the mirror and a third behind the TV. The balcony is small, but was fine for the 2 of us. There are 2 chairs with 2 footrests, and a small table. The balcony has a metal railing not the plexiglass in front. Be aware if you have small children. The food was fine. We ate dinner in the Skyline restaurant (made reservations for 7 of us at 6:30 each evening). You can make the reservations online before the cruise. That will save having to do it while on the boat. We chose that restaurant because it is less formal than the Liberty restaurant. We did not use any of the specialty restaurants. The food was fine; no complaints. We ate breakfast most days in the Aloha Café. We were up early so we were there at 6 AM before it got crowded. We were on tours most afternoons so did not each much lunch on the ship. We only attended a few of the shows after dinner. The ones we saw were good; no complaints. Mostly we were tired after touring all day and getting up early. We did not frequent any of the bars. Nor did we attend any of the onboard activities. I would recommend allowing some downtime in your schedule. The tours we took were long and the weather is hot, so we were exhausted much of the time. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because it was a last minute decision and the only one going to Hawaii on the date that I needed. I will NEVER AGAIN sail with Norwegian. Many of the staff members are not only not very friendly, but downright rude ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a last minute decision and the only one going to Hawaii on the date that I needed. I will NEVER AGAIN sail with Norwegian. Many of the staff members are not only not very friendly, but downright rude — they argue back with their passengers. I encountered this not only myself but was witness to others, too. The elevators were another issue. There are thousands of passengers on board, but there are only seven elevators. Worst of all, they are so slow that I ended up just using the stairs. Norwegian also does not provide free WiFi. What institution in this time and day does not allow free WiFi? So I thought, okay, I don’t need their WiFi because I’ll just use my cellular data. Nope! They prevent you from using yours so that we have to purchase theirs. Norwegian also charges you a mandatory tip of 20% for all additional services from cleaning your room, buying drinks, room service, etc. Due to this MANDATORY tip, the staff feel no need to be extra good to their guests. For just choosing to sail with Norwegian, I had to dole out an additional $650 that was my automatically charged to my account regardless of whether I chose to get my room cleaned or not or whether their staff treated me well or not. Food is another issue. Overall, it’s mediocre at best. The breakfast buffet at Aloha Cafe was acceptable, but lunch was horrible. Dinner was exactly the same whether one dined at Liberty, the one that requires that all adults wear long pants or the Skyline, the one that allows complete casual wear. ALL of their pastries crumbled under my fork for some reason and the many of the foods were too salty for my taste. While on the ship, there was nothing to do. The only activity worthwhile for me were the lei making classes. The two pools that they had next to each other were too tiny that they resembled jacuzzis. Finally, my cabin’s restroom continued to smell of urine whether it was cleaned or not. It seemed that it might have been coming from the drains. The public restrooms in the men’s room didn’t have toilet liners. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Decided in August 2017 to retire and then looked for the best way to see Hawaii for retirement vacation trip. NCL's Pride of America is the only game in town. Yes it has some highs and lows but overall our experience was very good. I ... Read More
Decided in August 2017 to retire and then looked for the best way to see Hawaii for retirement vacation trip. NCL's Pride of America is the only game in town. Yes it has some highs and lows but overall our experience was very good. I will try to explain those highs and lows. Our trip was July 2018. Lows - First day on Ship was pretty much a waste of a day. We stayed at the Aston Waikiki the night before (great experience there) and the pickup and delivery to the ship went well. We were the first group boarding Pride of America at 11:30AM. But of course rooms are not ready. Our room was not done until nearly 5pm. The last floor on the ship (7th) to be ready. We had to hang out waiting for the room all day. My recommendation to anyone would be plan something to do on that first day... go see Pearl Harbor or something and don't kill a day. Room - Our room was a 'large balcony' and it was OK. Nothing super special. First room at the front of ship. A bit of a hike to get to anywhere else. Room smaller than expected, but clean and there was a balcony which was nice. Food - Food was OK as well. The 'fancy' dinning room Liberty had identical food to the other dining room, only difference being men couldnt wear shorts. It was nice but just ok. Food at times was better than ok...but other times food was warm at best when Hot was desired. The best special meal (extra cost) was the brazilian steak house. That was well worth the extra. Cagneys was a disappointment with tiny meals that were not much better than the included food. Excursions - We rented a jeep for Maui for 2 days and that worked out very well. Found audio tours that track with GPS and did the road to Hanna and other trips which was great. On big island we had planned to do Volcanoes but couldnt. The substituted exursion was 'Falls and Tastes of Hawaii' six hours. Without the valcanoe component this trip was a major disappointment. We were taken to 3 waterfalls (nice but not super special) and a little out of the way place to eat (wraps the tour guide brought)... it felt like she as trying to think up things to fill the time. The Good - There is no better way to see the Islands. Hawaii, Maui, Kauai are so much different than Oahu and having the ship there as your hotel worked great. I recommend getting a vehicle and audio guides (we used Shaka Guides) and seeing places on your own. Road to Hanna - A fun trip... takes several hours to get out there and several back. Not too much in Hanna the fun is in the trip not the destination. Makena State Park - Also on Maui - a very nice beach that was not over crowded...free...and very nice with gorgous view. View of Volcano - Our Captain went by the active volcano at night and turned off the lights (8pm or so at night) and it was amazing. A once in lifetime view. We were not dangerously close but were close enough to see the lava flow etc. Overall Very good experience. I have not done reviews much but did enjoy this. If you level set your expectations this is a great trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I've always wanted to see Hawaii but when I got there I didn't realize it was going to cost me so much money. I went with family and friends overall it was 23 of us. I purchase a suite that stated could hold six people but the room was ... Read More
I've always wanted to see Hawaii but when I got there I didn't realize it was going to cost me so much money. I went with family and friends overall it was 23 of us. I purchase a suite that stated could hold six people but the room was not as big as I thought it would be did not worth my $10,000 that I spent for the cabin. The dinner Services was very very slow and the food did not have any taste it was either bland or too salty. For a family of four the excursions was very costly couldn't even afford to go to an a luau without going broke. The DJ the DJ only played certain music and when you request him to play other music he refused or say foul language to you he was just horrible. I've been there done that Hawaii has been crossed off my list not again maybe I'll try somewhere else but on Norwegian Pride. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had a wonderful time on this cruise. A great way to see the Hawaiin islands. We had a balcony room. Although rooms were small, storage space was well organized.King bed and pull out couch. Room steward was excellent. very ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this cruise. A great way to see the Hawaiin islands. We had a balcony room. Although rooms were small, storage space was well organized.King bed and pull out couch. Room steward was excellent. very quiet. The food was good, service exceptional. All drinks at all bars were spot on. Entertainment was good. Open dinning was lovely, never felt rushed to get to dinner.Cruise was casual dress.Only one restaurant requirred dress code, no formal night We took our 18 year old, All other NCL cruises allow you to sign to allow your child wine or beer in international waters, this cruise does not leave the states, so 21 for adult activities/ drink applies ( some night shows are 21+) Again as it is in U.S/ Hawaiin waters no casino / bingo. The views of the volcano glow are amazing, the Captain will turn off the ships lights so you have a better view ( this is seen on the starberd side of the ship) The coast can be seen on the port side ( with narration and history of what is being seen) Shore excursions were costly, but hop on off buses are available at each port. Lei making classes available on board as well as hula classes to name a few. Very clean ship, hand sanitizer everywhere also I would recomend this cruise to anyone who would like to see the islands without island hopping Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise to visually see the fountaining lava flows in the Hawaii Volcano National Park as well as to experience the sheer and extensive cliffs of the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai. Also, I wanted to look at the island ... Read More
I chose this cruise to visually see the fountaining lava flows in the Hawaii Volcano National Park as well as to experience the sheer and extensive cliffs of the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai. Also, I wanted to look at the island of Maui and the beauty of Haleakala from the ocean. To experience the Hawaiian Islands from the ocean instead of being land is the primary reason why I chose this cruise. In addition to experiencing all the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, I also wanted to enjoy the great food and culinary dining, quality entertainment, and evening activities. In fact, the group I traveled with enjoyed the delicious food at Skyline Restaurant. While breakfasts and dinners were absolutely delicious, the service was not up to the level I expected and there were a number of instances where waiters and work crew kept dropping plates and various glasses. This occurred throughout the entire cruise! In order to rectify this situation, waiters and crews need to be re-trained. This is critical in order to ensure that the customer is pleased and has satisfied with an excellent culinary and dining experience. While I loved some of the evening shows especially Lights, Camera, Music, I did not enjoy the Las Vegas show. It just wasn't what I expected. I left the venue rather disappointed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was the only cruise I could find for the Hawaiian islands. In general the cruise was alright, but nothing exceptional. Bathrooms were small. Shower stall had curtains, no door. Food was ok. However, the service on the ship ... Read More
This was the only cruise I could find for the Hawaiian islands. In general the cruise was alright, but nothing exceptional. Bathrooms were small. Shower stall had curtains, no door. Food was ok. However, the service on the ship was very good. My main gripe was the "lunches" that were served by the tours for shore excursions. NCL said that lunches were provided on certain excursions. Believe me they were nothing you would prepare or eat yourself. I left all of mine behind. The tour companies provided what they referred to as picnic lunches. The wraps were about 4 inches long and filled with a lot more lettuce than protein. They also provided a small snack and bottled beverage. One lunch actually had 2 unwrapped pickle slices thrown in the bottom of the box. Another excursion didn't even have individual lunches. The tour guide took a thermal bag from the back of his van and unloaded food packed in plastic storage bowls and served family style on a picnic table at the side of the road. I heard that a lot of passengers were complaining. The least they could do is give you a hamburger considering excursion rates. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as we thought it would be a good way to see Hawaii at an affordable price. We arrived the night before the cruise and stayed at the Marriott, which was included in our cruise and was excellent. The check-in at the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we thought it would be a good way to see Hawaii at an affordable price. We arrived the night before the cruise and stayed at the Marriott, which was included in our cruise and was excellent. The check-in at the hotel was seamless and the rooms were great. The shuttle to the port was hassle free. The check-in at the port was smooth and we thought we were off to a great cruise. 1) We were on the ship by 11:30 am but could not get into our rooms until 5:30pm. All of our luggage was available when we got to the rooms. The rooms were below our expectations due to size mainly. See below for cabin review. 2) The activities on the cruise are limited. For instance, the put-put course has 3 holes and looks like it cost about $500 to make about 20 years ago. Same goes for golf driving range. Both were a joke. Also, shuffle board had either a bad surface or bad discs as some of the discs would go way to far and others would be way short, making the game frustrating to play. The corn hole was also a joke. The bean bags were to light and would be blown off course with just a little wind. Ping pong tables were worn out as well and really needed updating. I'd estimate that with a minimum investment of around $5,000 the cruise ship could make these really enjoyable. 3) Dining in the main dining rooms was subpar. Most cruises I've been on have a lobster and steak night, which was missing from this cruise. The Beef Lasagna was good, but all other entries were not very good. Service was average and we didn't have to wait too long to get the food. The buffet was about the same as other cruise lines as far as taste. Fries, Pizza and hot dogs were really good. Hamburgers were a joke, as you had to get cheese from another section and have them apply to your burger. Also, the buffet would close breakfast at 10:30 and not reopen with lunch until 12:00. There was one diner that was 24/7, but other cruises I have been on had pizza bar 24/7 and various other things. 4) Overall, very disappointed with pride of america, but Hawaii in general is amazing. Would have to price out if it is cheaper to fly from island to island and get hotels versus doing the cruise for next time. 5) We did the bike down mountain in Maui, which was amazing. In Kona, we did the Zodiac, which we got to snorkel, see whales and site see, our favorite excursion. 5) FYI, taxis to the airport after the cruise for 6 people including luggage was $40 with tip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose Norwegian mainly because it was the only major cruise line at our price point that went to Hawaii in the summer (at least that we knew of). We tacked this trip to the back of a week trip in Oahu with my family, so our timing was ... Read More
We chose Norwegian mainly because it was the only major cruise line at our price point that went to Hawaii in the summer (at least that we knew of). We tacked this trip to the back of a week trip in Oahu with my family, so our timing was limited. Overall, our experience was positive and we absolutely loved exploring the islands and doing the ship arranged excursions (rappelling, ziplining, snorkeling, kayaking and going to a botanical garden). The excursions were pricy, but well worth the money in my opinion. I am not even sure I could pick a favorite! We had an inside stateroom which was adequate for two adults in their twenties, but would be too small for a family in my opinion. Where the cruise lacked washing the food and ship design. The food in the main dining halls was quite subpar, which was disappointing. The speciality restaurants were better, but I expected way more of the main dining hall. Without a doubt, our top five meals were all off of the ship, which again, was disappointing. Another strange thing was there was a large percentage of new staff on board, making the service a bit hectic and uncoordinated. The layout of the ship itself was strange, with a lot of unused space outside, a very small pool and an out of place Americana theme for a tropical vacation. This all was not a deal breaker for us as we spent almost no time on the ship, but if there were sea days on the itinerary, I would have been disappointed I think. I did get a manicure at the spa which was great! My manicurist was very friendly and I really enjoyed speaking with her. In summary, because I was there for a Hawaiian vacation and because I did a week on Oahu first, I think this was the best vacation I ever had. However, if I had been there for the cruise experience, I would have been upset. Read Less

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