May 2014 - Pride of America to Hawaii
The main reason that I decided to take this cruise was the convenience of visiting the major islands without the hassle of making my own transportation and lodging arrangements plus being able to travel to each island overnight, therefore not wasting any precious daytime for travel. As far as this goes, this cruise was great. In regards to the rest of the experience onboard, it was just OK. This was my second cruise on Norwegian, and again I only chose Norwegian for the itinerary of this cruise. The stateroom was cramped for 3 adults (buyer beware--the same category of cabin is not comparable to the same on another Norwegian ship, nor is the amount of obstruction with an obstructed view), although it was clean and the beds were comfortable. The room steward kept us supplied with clean towels twice daily, but the ice in the ice bucket was only replaced once a day and was usually melted by the time we returned to the cabin at night. The ship did supply beach towels that you could take off the ship which was a nice surprise! The ship itself was nice and clean. This crew was not as obsessive about cleanliness and sanitizing as our previous Norwegian cruise which was worrisome to some degree, especially when it came to cleaning the tables in the buffet. Don't choose Norwegian and expect good food. The food is only average to mediocre. We didn't eat at any specialty restaurants as I refuse to pay extra for meals on a cruise! We ate all breakfasts in the Aloha Cafe buffet to save time, although it was very crowded. We ate several evening meals in the more casual main dining room (Skyline) and once in the Cadillac Diner. Meal service was slow in both venues and we got very little attention from the wait staff other than taking our orders and bringing our food. Again, don't expect much from the food. We enjoyed the little bit of Hawaiian cultural information that we got from the few activities we were able to attend. I wish the lei-making classes had been scheduled a little bit later in the day as we were only able to make it back to the ship for one of them. The best entertainment, by far, was the "Oh, What a Night Tribute". It was fabulous! If you ever get a chance to see this anywhere, do it! If this is your first time to the islands, I strongly encourage you to take tours either sponsored by Norwegian or other vendors. They were reasonably priced considering and were well worth it. Again, if you want to see a bit of the main islands, I would recommend this cruise for that reason alone. Just don't have too high of expectations for the rest.