We chose this cruise to go to Hawaii Round trip from San Diego. We have been on 3 prior HA cruises and enjoyed ourselves. We booked the cruise a year earlier and friends cruised on the Eurodam last August with no issues. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise to go to Hawaii Round trip from San Diego. We have been on 3 prior HA cruises and enjoyed ourselves. We booked the cruise a year earlier and friends cruised on the Eurodam last August with no issues. We were not informed of any of the following money saving changes:
No singers and dancers and orchestra, 5 piece band replaced.
Entertainers, comedians, singer, musician were good. Dancers to light show with recorded music also was entertaining. A repeat of the show a second night was a waste, as was showing a movie.
Numerous changes in the Dining room resulted in smaller portions, fewer choices, $10 charge if you wanted a second entre at lunch or dinner. No bread basket at breakfast.
Both the card room and game room were rented out to Quilters for the entire cruise.
No Bridge director.
No Art Auction
Dining Room closed for lunch on at least 4 of the last 5 sea days.
Stores were taken over by high end merchandise: no small souvenirs.
Very friendly staff and great cruisers. Read Less
The Holland America Eurodam is as old-fashioned a cruise ship as they come--with 3 "gala" nights with quite a few tuxedos in evidence on a 17-night cruise, with the towel animals and the chocolate buffet if you want them, and ... Read More
The Holland America Eurodam is as old-fashioned a cruise ship as they come--with 3 "gala" nights with quite a few tuxedos in evidence on a 17-night cruise, with the towel animals and the chocolate buffet if you want them, and with mostly senior cruisers at this time of year and on a cruise this length. But for those with a love of old-style cruising, the itineraries and the value really can't be beat. The Eurodam loses points for an interminably long line for check-in in San Diego (disembarkation was much more efficient) and for virtually no welcoming ritual (no champagne) but after that initial disappointment, what's not to like? Excellent food in the dining room and, for an extra price, at Tamarind, the Asian-fusion specialty restaurant--and good food, too, and lots of choices in the Lido buffet (once you figure out the times to come so you don't have to search relentlessly for an empty table). The staff is mostly Filipino and Indonesian and always smiling and eager to please; what pleased us most is that they truly seemed to be enjoying themselves and each other and took much pride in whatever task they took on. The public areas have recently been renovated are are quite glamorous--and we appreciated the vintage cruise ship photographs on the walls, the tasteful art (especially the stunning Bas Sebus print in our verandah cabin), and the many musical choices for listening. This wasn't a cruise of fervent dancers, but we could have danced every night ("Mustang Sally" to "Uptown Funk") at the fabulous BB King Blues Club. Our favorite things about this cruise were the two astonishing dance and light show performances by One Step Dance Company, truly, the most spectacular productions we've seen in more than 15 cruises and the superb culinary talks/demonstrations by the American Test Kitchen host Annette.
No alcohol, or even bottled water, is included so bar tabs can quickly mount, but if you only want a glass or two of wine at dinner, drinks by the glass are probably the way to go.
We signed up for free-style dining and, once we learned the right time to come, never had to wait for a table for two.
This was a truly enjoyable, relaxing--and delicious--time. And we loved all those sea days! Read Less
We are a married couple in our 60's. This was our 17th cruise overall, but our first on Holland America. We were cruising with our regular cruise companions, another couple in their 60's. We have cruised on Celebrity, ... Read More
We are a married couple in our 60's. This was our 17th cruise overall, but our first on Holland America. We were cruising with our regular cruise companions, another couple in their 60's. We have cruised on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival in the past. We normally take cruises of 10-14 days so this 17 day cruise was our longest yet. Rating this cruise itself is difficult as it was a bust in that we only saw two of the five scheduled stops in Hawaii. This was mostly because of bad weather. So rather than focusing on the cruise we will provide our observations of Holland America in general.
The Eurodam is a beautiful ship and the perfect size. The service was outstanding. The food was great. The entertainment was enjoyable. Embarkation and Debarkation were as easy as any ship on which we have traveled. Why then only three stars?
Using a baseball analogy, it is widely accepted that many of the cruisers on Holland America recognize that they (we) are in at least the bottom half of the seventh inning in life. What we want to do with the last two innings is based on our individual prospective. The great majority of HA travelers are like travelers on the other lines we have been on only with a few more of life's scars. They want to have a good time, enjoy the scenery, the food, the drinks and everything else that can be found on a cruise ship. Life has been tougher on some than to others and HA seems to have experience dealing with those issues.
This was scheduled to be a seventeen day round trip cruise from San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands with stops in Kona, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Hilo on the Big Island. Because of predicted bad weather the captain decided to by-pass Kona and head straight to Honolulu. When we arrived in Honolulu the wind was strong and all of the afternoon tours, including the luau's were cancelled. We were then told that because of bad weather predicted for Kauai (they suffered a severe storm) we would not go there. When the weather forecast did not improve we were told we would be staying in Honolulu an extra day and then return to Kona the following day. This meant that Lahaina, Maui would be taken off our schedule. No excursions were available through the ship for the second day in Honolulu so everyone was on their own.
The following day we arrived in Kona, a port where the ship's tenders are needed to go ashore. We did not drop anchor. Even though the seas looked calm to most with no white-caps to be seen anywhere, the captain decided the harbor was too dangerous to transport people on the tenders. As fairly seasoned cruisers we realized that we had been in tenders in much worse than we were witnessing in Kona and that got us thinking as to why that decision was made. Our reasoning is that because we were traveling with so many people with considerable life issues it would be impractical, if not impossible, to transport all those people safely with the crew that was available to assist them.
Therefore, we lost our third port and we headed back out for another sea day. We have been on cruises where ports were missed and we understand that is always a possibility. What made this tough for us this time was that in lieu of going to Kona or Maui as scheduled the cruise director suggested people could gather for a game of CHECKERS in one of the lounges!
When we arrived in Hilo for a last possible Hawaiian stop the gangway was not put into position at the designated time. The captain advised us that because of rough water the gangway was not holding steady and a safe walk off the ship may not be possible. He was assessing the situation. I think he may have heard the mumblings of the several hundred of us who had gathered in the atrium and the gangway was opened shortly thereafter. We had a great day in Hilo doing a private tour with a company known as Big Island Aina Tours that we HIGHLY RECOMMEND. We spent the next six days sailing back to Ensenada, Mexico and then on to San Diego for debarkation.
While the cruise was not what we had planned or hoped for, we still had a great time. (If you can't enjoy yourself on a cruise ship chances are pretty good that you can't enjoy yourself).
Getting back to that baseball analogy: If you are a person who enjoys some of the finer things in life and just wants to live with grace and dignity during the last few innings you can have a really nice time on Holland America. You can't beat the service or the food. But, if you have the problem we have in that you still live with the allusion that there may be at least one more headfirst slide into home left in you (albeit in slow motion), HA may not be the place for you. Read Less
This was our first cruise. My husband and I went with my brother and sister-in-law who had been on a cruise before. It was suggested that we take the cruise out of Honolulu as that way we would get to experience more time on the Islands ... Read More
This was our first cruise. My husband and I went with my brother and sister-in-law who had been on a cruise before. It was suggested that we take the cruise out of Honolulu as that way we would get to experience more time on the Islands of Hawaii. Overall it was a great experience! We had a room with a balcony which made it so nice to be able to open the door and listen to the waves as we set sail to another island. We also got ample opportunities to take sunset pictures which were breathtaking! The bathroom was a little tight maneuvering around, especially for my husband who is a fairly large man.
We disembarked onto the islands at every opportunity. We found that talking to natives on the islands provided us with the best prices for exploring the many attractions it had to offer. We save over 40% off what the ship prices provided and we got the experience of the people that live on the islands. Disembarking and embarking went pretty smoothly. You always have to have your ship card on your person as well as a photo id to get on and off the ship.
There was many different food offerings on the ship. The buffet was pretty good. It offered the biggest variety and there were several stations serving the same food so that lines were minimal, even at the busiest hours. We did eat at a couple of the restaurants that were not included in our package, and I would say the Steakhouse was the best meal we had on the ship!! The service was excellent and the food was phenomenal.
There was a crew member who sprayed your hands with hand sanitizer any time you entered the food buffet area. I reasonable precaution given all the people on board and hearing of illnesses on past ships.
The Cruise Director was so friendly, enthusiastic and informative. There was plenty to do on board the ship. Entertainment included comedy shows, magic shows (for adults and children), plenty of music and dancing that varied each night as well. Also, other types of entertainment that involved the travelers such as a "Not So Newlywed Game" which was very funny!
Given all the free food offered, I was glad to see this ship had a wonderful fitness center that included many of the latest treadmills, elliptical machines and other fitness equipment as well. I used them daily!!
The pools were clean and we also enjoyed the experience of the Jacuzzi and meeting new friends!!
Overall, our cruise on the Pride of America was a dream come true for my husband and myself. We would definitely go again, and I would recommend this trip to any of my family and friends! Read Less
We chose this cruise because it was the only cruise around the Hawaiian islands. We purchased our tickets which included 3 benefits, 3 shore excursion discounts, 3 dinners in the specialty dining rooms and free wifi/internet. When we tried ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the only cruise around the Hawaiian islands. We purchased our tickets which included 3 benefits, 3 shore excursion discounts, 3 dinners in the specialty dining rooms and free wifi/internet. When we tried to book our shore excursions we were told we did not have any discounts, specialty dining and free wifi/internet. We tried to explain that these benefits were included with our initial purchase but the desk on the ship said they had no knowledge of our benefits. Luckily we had the telephone number of Norwegian Cruise Line's office. After several days and attempts to call them on our cell phone, despite the 5 hour time difference and the reception we connected with them and they said we did have the 3 benefits and they would email the ship. The ship never contacted us that they had received the email but when we went back to the ship's desk they said we did have the 3 benefits and they would include them on our bill. NO APOLOGY OR EVEN AN OFFER OF A FREE ICE CREAM OR DRINK FOR UPSETTING OUR PLANNED EXCURSION AND DINNER RESERVATIONS. WE NEVER DID RECEIVE FREE INTERNET/WIFI. OR A CREDIT FOR THAT.
Also I talked to the NCL representative about a balcony upgrade and she suggest cabin 9502. I trusted her and that balcony was the most forward balcony/cabin on the ship and th balcony was completely framed by a 2 foot metal structure cutting out a big portion of our ocean view.
The first night of the cruise was extremely rough!!! We also came into port 2 hours late. As I learned later while over hearing a conversation from the crew the ship was having engine problems which we were never made information from the captain.
Finally, my husband has celiac disease which make him unable to eat wheat, barley or rye. We made NCL aware of this issue and they assured NCL would take care of him. Because of the issue with the dinners in the specialty dining we had to eat the the buffet. There was no signage on any of the food indicating if they were gluten free so we asked the staff and they also did not know.
I registered a complaint to NCL more than 5 days ago and they have not answered me or refunded me for not providing wifi/internet as promised in my contract.
This is not a cruise I would recommend to anyone. Read Less
My cousin and I had a wonderful girls vacation on the Pride of America! They only thing that could have made our trip a little better was less rain, but the crew had no control over that! The Napoli Coastline was beautiful and I would ... Read More
My cousin and I had a wonderful girls vacation on the Pride of America! They only thing that could have made our trip a little better was less rain, but the crew had no control over that! The Napoli Coastline was beautiful and I would have liked another highlight or two more like that while on the ship. The food was wonderful & accesssability to food was available nearly 24/7! They ran out of a few food items, and service was a bit slow at the Liberty restaurant, but it wasn’t a huge deal. I celebrated a birthday on the ship. I think they were uploaded to sing and bring me a cake, but they forgot. I didn’t really need it anyway and may have enjoyed a drink more than more dessert (which was readily available on the ship). They also offered me $50 off a spa treatment, but you still had to pay another $100 or so for a service. Would have been nice to just get a little free service, like nails done or hair do or something, but I guess everyone needs to make a living;). We went to a bunch of great entertaining shows and also learned how to make several different types of leis! I was also impressed with security coming off and onto the ship, although getting off the ship the last day was a bit hectic (long lines to get off and confusion as to if we took our own bags off or tagged them). The gentlemen taking care of our rooms were also fantastic and always had our room looking great! Hawaii is a beautiful part of the United States and the Pride of America was a great way to see several of Hawai’s many islands. Read Less
We just got back from our cruise on the Pride of America last Sunday, February 24, 2019. We chose this cruise because we have been to just about all the Caribbean islands on the Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL ships. We thought it was ... Read More
We just got back from our cruise on the Pride of America last Sunday, February 24, 2019. We chose this cruise because we have been to just about all the Caribbean islands on the Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL ships. We thought it was time to see something new. We have been on everything from Royal Caribbean smallest ship in the ocean to their largest etc.
I must say that the NCL Pride of America was AWESOME in every way possible. We booked our trip last summer and I did not even look at any reviews. Then I started researching port excursions about a month before the cruise and noticed there were various bad reviews on Yelp and some other review sites like Yelp. I must say that I became a bit nervous after reading these reviews. Well NCL Pride of America was amazing and so much more!!!
For starters we stayed in a penthouse suite with our 2 daughters who are 13 and 16. We were greeted within 3 minutes of walking thru check in and were escorted to a private desk for an immediate check in. It was seamless. It was the fastest that we ever got on a ship ever!!! We spent some time eating at the lunch buffet and walking around the ship to see where everything was at. I just kept telling my husband how in shock I was of the negative reviews that people put on the internet about this ship. Honestly, I have never ever taken the time to write a review but I really felt like I have to in this case.
So the next night at dinner at Cagneys Steakhouse I asked Martha who is in charge of Cagneys why could there possibly be so many negative reviews. She explained that it really was a shame as well! She also mentioned that the ship had a multi million dollar refurbish 3 years ago! I figured as much because I knew it is a an older ship but so many things on the ship look brand new.
So basically in a nutshell the food, entertainment and service was absolutely AMAZING and I would soooo recommend anyone interested in this Hawaiian Cruise to take the cruise of a lifetime!!!!! You will NOT be disappointed!!!! Read Less
Not an all inclusive trip. Extra for internet, tipping, bottled water, photos, etc .you think you have everything paid for but then they tack on an extra charge everyday for each person. I expected the excursions to be a little bit more ... Read More
Not an all inclusive trip. Extra for internet, tipping, bottled water, photos, etc .you think you have everything paid for but then they tack on an extra charge everyday for each person. I expected the excursions to be a little bit more considering the price. But most were just a bus ride to a free admission park. Very disappointed in most of them. Occasionally they would include a box lunch with one bottle of water. Weather was terrible one day but because they did not cancel we would have lost our money had be not gone. Couldn’t see anything but rain and clouds for the sunset at Haleakalā. Glassbottom boat in Kona was a joke - only saw a few yellow fish and only got about 10 feet from shore. They booked our flights but failed to tell us that we would be dropped off st the airport at 9:30 and the American Airlines gate would not open until 11:15 so we had to stand in line waiting to check our bags for almost 2 hrs. Read Less
We are NCL Platinum, 10th cruise on NCL. Never been to Hawaii before. Seniors. We took this trip to meet relatives from Australia. We flew from Chicago to LAX then on to HNL on Wednesday. We booked Charleys Taxi for a flat rate ride to the ... Read More
We are NCL Platinum, 10th cruise on NCL. Never been to Hawaii before. Seniors. We took this trip to meet relatives from Australia. We flew from Chicago to LAX then on to HNL on Wednesday. We booked Charleys Taxi for a flat rate ride to the hotel and saved about $5. The cab was right there, no waiting. We booked the precruise night through NCL and additional two nights with credit card points. The NCL provides the room and transport to the ship. Breakfast is not included. The Hilton Village is really too big. First question the cabbie had was which tower do you want? Main Lobby I guess.
NCL has reps at the hotel on Wed 1-6, Fri 2-6, and Sat 730AM-930AM. The desk is in the main lobby around the corner near the concierge desk and Avenue store. see picture. You have to check in with them to get scheduled for bus 1 or 2 on Saturday. Plus give them your room number for luggage pickup. Tips are included.
We checked in at the main desk and told them we were on a NCL booking. They gave us the upgrade pitch and we bought it to get in the Rainbow Tower facing the ocean. $60 extra per day. Daily resort fee on private bookings is $40. Covered by NCL bookings. Hotel was nice bed comfortable, coffee machine, balcony with chairs. When it was time for our Arizona tour we had to find our way to the Bus Terminal which is at the far corner of the Grand Islander Tower. there were signs along the way to "bus terminal". This turned out to be the same place to meet for the NCL bus on Saturday.
The hotel has fireworks on Friday at exactly 745 which is very intense and lasts exactly 5 minutes. There was quite a crowd.
We booked a small group tour which included a drive through town pointing out some of the other sites. Half day trip. We had assigned times for the boat ride and had time to visit the other exhibits. There was a 22 minute film and then on to the boat. The Arizona dock has been damaged so we couldn't dock. what we got was a drive by in the boat and they told us not to stand up so that was very disappointing. Didn't see much.
On Thursday and Friday there were sprinkles each day a few times.
On Saturday we had the 11AM bus so we made our way to the bus terminal lobby, look for the rep with the paddle. lined up, boarded the bus off to the ship. Long line to chek in through security then get the ID card. The on board we heard about the wine and drink packages.
Drinks on POA
Info I found while on POA cruise in February 2019. The ship being American flagged is bound by all local laws so they have to purchase goods at the same places that the hotels on land do. All drinks include a 20% tip and about 5% local tax depending on which island you are at. So the drink prices are as high as you would pay at the land hotels.
We are two seniors that drank whatever we wanted which included wine, beer, cocktails, and cappuccinos on the trip. A dos Equis beer came in at $8.40 total. My wife liked the Rose wine which wasn't on the wine package list so we just bought it as desired. A bottle was $46.00 total with tax and tip so 5 glasses was about $9.40 each equivalent. The cocktails were from $12 to $15 each. I had a double vodka which was just over $30. There is no extra shot discount that is available on other NCL ships, and no bucket of beer discount. We could purchase a bottle of wine in the dining room and then carry it to the other bars after dinner or back to the room or in one case we left a bottle at Cagney's because we were returning two days later.
The drink of the day was $8.95 + T&T = $11.18
There were wine packages available for 3,4,5 bottles but we passed. The drink package was offered at $99 a day per person. So 99 times 7 plus T&T of 25% is $866 total per person. Our total bill for the week includes beer with lunch, pre dinner cocktail, wine with dinner, drinks after dinner came to $900. So for 2 people we spent $65 a day each total or just a little more than the package price for one person.
We had a penthouse suite which was a beautiful large room with a double balcony. Note that the step in tub has a step over of about 21 inches with a grab bar.
We booked a private tour for four with mauiislandtaxitour . Our driver Nick Crowley drove us around about 5 hours a day on Sunday and Monday to see the island. we choose not to do the road to Hana but keep to the other sites. Nick was very informative and showed us some places you wouldn't normally see . Stopped in town for lunch and shop tours. When you compare prices of the NCL tours for the four of us, we actually saved some money and got to come and go as we saw fit. Didn't have to wait for 40 people to get on the bus and 40 people to get off the bus all day.
We didn't have any big plans except maybe going into town. It poured rain all day long and we never left the ship.
Kona is pretty cool and you pull into the pier and are right in town. It's a short walk to visit the Hulihe'e Palace which was $16 for seniors. Then further down was the Kona Inn shopping center where we wound up having lunch and buying some souvenirs. Then down the street was the flea market for some more souvenirs for the grand kids. No rain today, they did get it yesterday though.
Had another private tour booked today with KauaiIslandShuttle com . Got a late start because the ship was late. saw the Waimea canyon, falls, coffee plantation, had lunch, spouting horn etc.
Friday half day we took the free shuttle to the hotel area, had a dink at Dukes. Walked through the hotel . Looked around and bused back. The in the PM it was the slow cruise by the Na Pali coast. spectacular site. Then they turn around so you can see it from the other side. also a few whales showed up.
Saturday they start the announcements about 730 and go on and on every ten minutes. It's a quick walk off and we went right to the airport for our 2 PM flight. Cab was $30.
Airport has no curbside check in and you have to have your bags x ray'd and tagged to check them in. The AA counter doesn't open till 1115 per the sign and there was no place to sit. So there we stood for about 2 hours and we sat on the luggage drop scales.
Honolulu was very crowded and seemed like there were bus load after bus load of tourist from China. The flight time from China is more reasonable. All the other islands were a lot more peaceful. I think we had some rain every day except two. Cagney's was still th best, everybody went to dinner at 7 PM. Read Less
Pride of America has a nice itinerary to get a taste of the islands. It is good to have a place to call home while exploring. We had a cabin with an ocean view. It provided nice natural light, although the windows are always streaky so you ... Read More
Pride of America has a nice itinerary to get a taste of the islands. It is good to have a place to call home while exploring. We had a cabin with an ocean view. It provided nice natural light, although the windows are always streaky so you never have a clear view. Our stateroom size was adequate. We had to watch our heads due to the overhead bunks ( which weren’t in use). The outside decks provided enough areas to view the scenery without feeling over crowded. We always found a spot to sit or lounge, even poolside. If you do sit poolside, the loudspeakers are very loud when announcements are being played. Our dining experiences were good...enough food to eat at any time of the day. The buffets are average, with the biggest complaint being Luke warm food. Some dishes were quite bland; I would probably bring a shaker of some seasoning from home if we would do this cruise again. Entertainment was excellent. Bar service was mediocre with long waits between ordering a beverage and finally receiving it. My observation was they did not have enough bartenders to make the drinks for the wait staff, as well as walk up cruisers at the bar. The drinks were also over-priced. An average beer if over $8/ bottle; a mixed drink $8-15+ with an automatic 20% gratuity added. Maybe this is their way of not letting anyone's Drinking get out of control. We used shore excursions thru the cruise line. We enjoyed Whale watching ( we saw several). We did the Atlantis submarine which was a unique experience. Our National Volcano Park tour was a bust due to heavy rains and cloud cover. We paid over $100 pp for a bus ride and never saw a bit of the volcano except for one steam vent. We felt this tour should have been cancelled. We also did the Mudbugging which was great fun! Read Less