Pride of America Cruise Review to Hawaii

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Great cruise

Sail Date: December 01, 2008

Reviewed: 7 years ago

Traveled As: Family w/older children

Room Type: Inside

We spent Christmas on NCL Pride. I was very skeptical about this ship since I had read so many bad reviews but it was actually one of the best ships I have cruised on (7th cruise)and I would definitely return. Not sure if they have taken past comments into consideration but I was very worried about the cleanliness of our stateroom, rude staff etc. What I found was a whole boat load of folks who go out of their way to please the customer. Our stateroom, although small, was immaculate and nothing seemed to be too much trouble for our cabin steward. At first I balked about the required service charge/tip they automatically add to your bill but honestly, we got the best service on this ship. We even tipped our waiter extra because he truly deserved it.. IF you want awesome service and a great dining experience, ask for ORLANDO to be your waiter. He was in the Skyline restaurant on our cruise. Skip the Cadillac diner. Although it is "cute" to see the tables/seats in the shape of cars, the food was not very tasty and the service VERY slow. One thing I found frustrating was the Aloha cafe. Great buffet for breakfast but lunch and dinner was mediocre. Staff is great but they are supposed to close at 9pm and we got there at 8pm. At this time half the food had been put away and they had cleaned the tables and wouldn't allow anyone to sit in certain areas. ONE other thing- we went on the Christmas cruise and I was worried that there would be no decor. NOT true at all. There were beautifully decorated trees all over the place and a gorgeous tree trimmed in red in the center of a grand staircase. Folks were paying the big bucks to have prof. photos done there but we lined up and actually had another cruiser take pics of us w/ our camera and they were beautiful. NCL is #1 when it comes to ease of getting on and off the ship. Yes, it does take a little bit of time to go thru security each time but we were usually off the ship within 2 minutes of docking. BE FOREWARNED_ DO NOT TAKE CORAL OR LAVA.. SECURITY WILL STOP YOU AND NOT ALLOW IT ON THE BOAT. My daughter bought seashell necklaces on one of the islands and it looked like coral on their xray machines. They let us thru w/ it since they were souveniers but remember - "leave only footprints" and do not destroy mother nature by taking lava etc. Security is very strict about this. We actually rented a car on each island and did the same thing that NCL offers on their excursions- but did it a lot cheaper. We took our GPS and our car rental agency gave us a map. Everything was well marked and easy to find so we save tons of money that way and we did it at our own pace. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED>

Pros: Very friendly staff, beautifully decorated for Holidays

Cons: the show/entertainment/Aloha buffet for lunch/dinner, Cadillac grille

Recommends Pride of America? Yes!

Food and Dining
Overall quality was ave. The menu boasts some very 'different' food to say the least but there are good standbys that you can get anytime. And some things to know because we were not told this until after we were on board.
1.If possible, make your wk reservation the 1st night. When we boarded we were told that we could only book 24 hrs in advance and the popular times fill up fast. However, after the second day they changed that policy and did not inform anyone. So, if possible, try to book for the week even for the regular restaurants like the Skyline and Liberty. After the 1st day, jeans, shorts etc are not allowed in Liberty. NO shorts in Skyline but they honestly don't seem to enforce this
2. Food in the Skyline and Liberty are the same but the decor in the Skyline is not as "fancy." Honestly, the service in the Skyline was 100% better. We had ORLANDO as our waiter and he was awesome. If poss you should request him since he really makes the meal exp a memorable one.
Cabin / Stateroom
Very clean. Our cabin steward was very attentive. Although one night we called for ice via the main ph # for housekeeping and never got it. The cabin steward will give you a number to them directly. USE IT. Beds were awesome and down comforters were to die for. Very good heat/air cond. Seemed to work well and easy to heat or cool off.
Service and Staff
I had a problem during one meal and mentioned it to the maitre 'd. He apologized profusely and "assigned" us to a different waiter- ORLANDO in the Skyline. HE is the one that made our dining experience so awesome. Actually everyone was great and it seemed like nothing was too much for anyone.
Sadly, this is where the ship is lacking. A few comedians and poolside bands but the eve shows are definitely not cruise ship quality. I find it entertaining to see a show each night on the cruise but not here. Towards the end of our cruise the newsletter promised a great show w/ lights and fountains etc. We went to see it because it sounded like it would be neat- it was the WORST> It basically amounted to the staff singing songs (and most can't carry a tune) and a finale of 8 staff spitting water at each other. yes, it was comical but pretty disgusting and NCL should be embarrassed to put on such a show.
Ship Quality
The ship was spotless. I read other reviews saying that folks had problems w/ their staterooms but our's was great. I even took wipes to wipe down the cabin "in case" but didn't need to use them. The ship is well marked and there are ship diagrams all over the place to help the "directionally challenged" cruiser like myself. Restrooms seemed to be exactly where needed. I have been on other ships where one had to travel to another floor and across the ship to find a restroom but not on this ship.

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