May 2014 - Pride of America to Hawaii
This is the second time that we went on a cruise in Hawaii. This time we did on the Pride of America which is supposed to be a bigger ship than the orignal NCL Pride of Aloha. But I honestly didn't see much difference between them.
The three big things for me on this cruise were:
1. You spend only about 10 hours in some of the cities. You dock at 8am and depart at 5:30pm in Kona (one of the most beautiful cities in Hawaii). The same happens in Hilo. In Kawaii you spend two days, but on the second day you leave at 1:30pm, so it is a very short day as well. In my opinion the days should be divided a little bit better to give us more time to visit the islands. You don't really want to wake up at 7am, have breakfast at 7:30am and leave the ship at 8am everyday in order to enjoy your stay. In my opinion it would be better if they dock at 9:30am and leave at 7pm.
2. The restaurants are good, but not as good as they advirtise. During the cruise we wanted to visit all the restaurants that they had available. The complamentary breakfast buffet (Aloha Cafe) has the same food for ALL the 7 days. By the 3rd day I was already sick of the smell of it... The menu should definitely change during the cruise! The Moderno Brazilian Steakhouse is NOTHING close to a traditional Brazilian restaurant. The meat is not cooked the right way, they are not seasoned the right way - simply horrible experience if you ever visited any other Brazilian Steakhouse in your life. The Italian restaurant (Cucina) in my opinion can be graded B- for their good service and amazing views. The booths are right at the windows, so you sit down and eat enjoying the ocean view - that's a plus. But the food is very much compared to Olive Garden. It's Italian, but definitely not a 4-star Italian restaurant as they promote on the flyers. The other restaurant that we paid extra for it was the American Steakhouse that is supposed to be the best restaurant in the ship. You pay $30 per person to have a 4 course meal. It is a great deal, but the service was horrible. I literally had to wait 90 minutes to have my meal. They served bread and my appetizers came after 25min after being sitted, and our main meal 60min after that - we placed the order all together when we first walked in.
But the meat was really tender and well seasoned. So the food itself was great - but be ready to wait a long time on this restaurant...
3. Our bedroom was a too small. We rented a Balcony room for this cruise thinking that it would be better than the window room that we stayed at the Pride of Aloha. But the only difference is the balcony itself. The bathroom is the same size - SMALL! The bed is still two twin beds that they put together for couples, so there is like a gap in the middle - so uncomfortable!! So don't expect much for the rooms. They are small!