If you can drive: Rent cars and drive yourself on each island

Pride of America Cruise Review to Hawaii

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 92

Overall rating:

5 out of 5
Verified Review
Pride of America

7 Night Hawaii (Honolulu Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 03, 2016

Ship: Pride of America

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 7518

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

We loved this cruise. Advice:

1.  Best room location is Starboard side, mid to aft ship.  Everything except the 2 theaters are mid and aft ship.  All the good viewing is on the Starboard side.  Deck does not matter.

2.  Before you go watch the TV documentary "Conquered" a history of the islands.

3.  If you can drive and follow a tour book (we like the "Revealed" series for the islands), it is better to rent from Enterprise (either a short walk or will pick you up at every port) and drive yourself.  Smart phone GPS works great.  You can use the itinerary from the bus tours to set your agenda and then add or subtract as you want.  Renting is much cheaper and you will spend much more time site seeing.  You can easily find places to get lunch. Plus you can go to places (such as Hosmer Grove on Maui; one of our favorite places) that the tours cannot go to because of no bus access.  You can also stay as long as you want at the places you like and leave the ones you do not rather than 20 to 30 minutes at each place. You will miss the bus drivers commentary but that can be good or not.

4.  If you are going to do bus tours use NCL.  They have it all set-up and you will have the same service staff that you met on board.  And, if any problems the tour director is on board to take care of you.  The only unhappy people we met were ones who had used other tours!

5.  On the first day make dinner reservations for every night.  The popular restaurants and times fill up fast; so plan ahead before you get on board.

6.  Read the daily activity sheet CAREFULLY every day.  There are drink specials and new things each day that are sometimes only listed on the bottom of the daily sheet.  We missed one or two because we did not read the whole thing carefully.

7. If you want to see Oahu stay AFTER the cruise not before because it is much easier to rent a car and drop it off at the airport than at the port.  So have Enterprise pick you up from the ship on the last day and stay where you want which could be outside of Honolulu and then drive the island for a few days and drop the car at the airport when you leave. It is worth it to spend a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center and see their show.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Reserve "East-West" and premium the first day. Did not like "Moderno"; concept does not work.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5


5 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Did not need the balcony but the couple we travel with wanted it. It was very nice at times but I would save the money if I do this again. Spend your time touring, at entertainment, and pool/hot tub not room.

Ship tip

Adult hot tub starboard aft deck 12 is open almost 24 hours. Great place to start the day when east coasters wake at 5 am local time.

Ports of call

Honolulu, Oahu

5 out of 5
If you like history do the Bishop museum and the Iolani palace. If you have time (Get there at opening at noon and stay through the show) do the Polynesian Cultural Center and SEE THEIR SHOW (best hula and fire dance in the islands; the locals come to see the lead hula dancer (she is great beyond words). Drive the Tantulus road to see Honolulu.

Hilo, Hawaii

5 out of 5
Rent a car and drive to Rainbow Falls and Volcano National Park. Can stay as long as you want at what you like. Skip the Macadamia nut plant tour; tourist trap waste of time and the Orchid place (go to a good botanical garden at home and use the time on the volcano). Was told driving 3 hours to the black sand beach was a waste of time.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

3 out of 5
Glass bottom boat is worth the cost but must be reserved through NCL. If into Hawaiian history there are several important historical sites on this side of the island.
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