Pride of America Cruise Review to Hawaii

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
2-3 cruises

Reviews
0

Helpful Votes
10

3 out of 5

It's fine, but don't expect a cruise, this is a floatel and not much more

Sail Date: December 05, 2015

Reviewed: 11 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

A great way to see all the beauty of Hawaii in its many forms, just don't expect the luxury, entertainment, cuisine or service you may have experienced on other cruises. While Hawaii is always wonderful, if you're looking for anything out of the cruise experience, you will probably be disappointed.

Cabin / Stateroom
The room was a good size and the balcony was enormously deep. Very nice view of Maui as the ship approaches on Sunday morning so be sure to wake up early for that.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Very efficient on both sides of the trip. Get there early for embarkation and you can get a jump start at the pool bar. Or you could legitimately get in a trip to Pearl Harbor or Waikiki in the morning and still make it with plenty of time to embark in the afternoon. Disembarkation is scheduled so you just walk straight off the ship. Baggage claim was a little chaotic so be prepared and have some unique identifiers on your bags.
Ship Quality
It's fine. It's a small ship, so there's not much to say. It has been renovated but still feels pretty old when you compare it to what's out there now. The crew does a fine job of keeping it clean.
Destinations and Excursions
It's Hawaii - you can't go wrong. I will say that if you're reasonably mobile and a good driver with an ability to navigate - you can do a lot on your own by renting a car. It will save you hundreds and you'll see a lot more being on your own schedule. Parking overnight at the ship on Maui and Kauai was easy.
Onboard Activities
Not enough Hawaiian culture (MORE MS. CHINA AND THE HAWAIIAN BAND PLEASE!). This ship is in port every day - no days "at sea" - so the events are all at times when the boat is in port. If you care about making the most of the vacation you paid for you can't really attend many of the onboard activities.
Entertainment
NCL is missing a huge opportunity to share more Hawaiian culture and entertainment with the passengers. Every entertainer should be Hawaiian, not just the first night when EVERYONE is in port on Maui and not able to attend the show. In general, the entertainers where stereotypical cruise ship entertainers - good, but not that good. Good enough to keep you occupied when there's nothing else to do at night if you get enough to drink beforehand. For what you pay and where you are, they could do so much better. I bet there are tons of Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners and others who would love to perform. Also, "Oh What A Night"... horrible. This is worse than Jersey Boys, if you can believe it. I've seen less cheese in a fromagerie.
Service and Staff
Be aware: This is an American ship with a lot of American staff who have American attitudes and ideals about customer service... you won't see anyone bending over backward for you as you would in the Caribbean or elsewhere. Also, you'll see them hanging out all over the ship and on shore in their off hours. We heard several different members at different times and in different places complaining about their jobs and the passengers on board. It was off-putting.
Food and Dining
Same food every day. Specials were anything but and to get a "fine dinning" experience you have to spend $$$ extra - after paying too much for the cruise to begin with. You're better off eating on shore when you can.
Honolulu, Oahu
The best port. Plan your trip to spend a day or two extra at least here after the cruise.
Kahului, Maui
Wake up early on Monday, drive up Haleakala and see the sunrise then drive over to Lahina.
Hilo, Hawaii
Rent a car and go to the volcano park, don't spend the money on the excursion - there's no need - you can do it yourself without missing anything. You'll save hundreds. There is really nothing else in Hilo.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
You can hangout right around the ship port and spend no money - there are shops, a market and a very nice beach all right there.
Nawiliwili, Kauai
Plenty of time to go ashore for breakfast before the ship leaves and there are some great places right in Nawiliwili and up the road in Wailua.

Tip

The restaurant serves the exact same breakfast menu as the buffet so you might as well go there. Also, the soda package: no bottled water AND you'll going to have to fight to get your money's worth. I had to go to bars myself to get soda for meals.



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