Floating Hotel and Night Entertainment: Pride of America Cruise Review by cruise102015
Overall Member Rating
Floating Hotel and Night Entertainment
They do have a contract with a hotel in Waikiki on the beach front. This is a nice hotel is very busy a congested when you are trying to check in, but the hotel is in decent shape, and they do work to keep the guests happy. The nice thing about booking the hotel the day before is that the porters come earlier and shuttle your luggage to the ship. We chose not to go to the ship early, due to you have very limited time in Honolulu that is a negative factor.
The ship is a smaller ship this allows for them to go to ports the bigger ships can't get into. Also another advantage is that you More only have to take 1 tender out of the 4 main islands, that is in Kona. All the rest of the ports you get to be docked and just step off onto the pier. This ship is also different than other ships it does not have a casino, this does allow for more space on its decks for more restaurants. Even though this ship is small rarely did you feel crowded.
The restaurants choices they push heavily for people to go to the paying restaurants. There are 4 restaurant venues that are part of your cruise. 2 main dining rooms which are actually only separated by 5th deck and 6th deck on the same side of ship so it is basically 1 dining room divided into 2 separate decks. The 5th deck is the casual dining room. so people entering same main area can have shorts on or be in business to smart casual attire. The upper deck is the no shorts dining room. The same food is offered in each dining room. The food is mostly acceptable, you need to take care in what you order. Some dishes done great then some just not worth eating. They mark foods with an asterisk that are supposedly spicy, not even close just have some flavor. The other 2 restaurants are East meet West, this is Asian Fusion, it offers the same menu every night. The food is good but you will have to make your reservation, you cant make it on line you have to make it on the first day of your cruise. Yes the reservations line on the first day is chaotic, but you have to do it. You can try to use the TV in your room to make the reservations or call, but cant guarantee you will be successful. Last Restaurant included in cruise fare is the Cadillac Diner this is a take on a 50s diner, food is good, what most people don't realize is they serve breakfast. They are open 24/7 but don't open until 6p the first day of the cruise. We had several breakfasts at he Cadillac and it was fine, they were faster than the dining room. The aloha buffet has limited hours and for breakfast and lunch are chaotic. There is way too little seating in that dining area, it is also one of the restaurants considered part of your cruise. I could not take the chaos, so we ate in the dining room or cadillac diner for breakfast. The main dining rooms do not serve lunch. So you have to go to the aloha cafe, or the Grill by the pool or the Cadillac diner for lunch. With this tour most people are off the ship during lunch unless a short port day. That is Friday in Kuaui you leave at 2p headed back to Honolulu for end of cruise. There are about 5-6 other restaurants that you have to pay. Some are one price per person and several are a la carte, very pricey, with paying for every item you eat.
The evening entertainment was fine not fantastic but not poor. It met your needs since you really weren't going to stay up all night and early morning. The purpose of this cruise is to see Hawaii and that's what you do. This ship definitely caters to families and 50 somethings and more, which works for me I am a 50 something close to 60. You of course see your honeymooners, lots of anniversaries. Your long time anniversaries and then your remarriage anniversaries.
The cabins a whole new ball game. NCL capitalizes on this one as well so they charge a very increased rate for the same cabins you get on regular ships for several hundred dollars more. It's Hawaii and there is no competition for ships that leave out of Honolulu. So I got it good I wanted a cabin on a mid ship area with mid range to getting to all of the decks. The deck that works best for that is the same deck that has most of the mid ship oceanview rooms completely blocked with lifeboats. They call this room an obstructed view. Now that is an understatement. My wife and I didn't want to be going from one end of the ship to another and we didn't want to be right by the elevator due to foot traffic. So the cabin we picked was very mid ship on the 7th deck. The view we got was we had daylight, the lifeboat completely encased the whole window. When passing very high volcanic mountains we could see the top caps. Just felt really wasn't warned how much obstructed really meant. Plus it didn't bring the price down. As it was I did a program with using their credit card so I did receive a 342.00 credit but even with that I paid at least 300-400 dollars more per person with this cruise than what would be a reasonable price. I booked directly through NCL, my suggestion to you DO NOT book directly. Use an agent you need all the help you can get with this line. This is not a passenger friendly line, you need protection.
Service in the cabins most interesting again. So I spoke with other passengers and many of them met their cabin steward and had some conversations of what they would need or not need. Our special cabin steward, gave us the privilege of saying for the first time ever (I have been on a good number of cruises small and big) We NEVER met our cabin steward 9 days and never saw the person. May have but person never acknowledged who they were. We once saw a laundry cart and a person. We were going into our cabin and they stood to side and never said a word. Never in all my years have I been on a cruise that you had no communication with your cabin steward.
The excursions and ports another adventure. The excursions offered by NCL are ridiculously priced you are in the usa you do not need to book through the ship. Just google hawaii tour agencies. The best tour group I found was Roberts Hawaii great guides and excellent service. Also Polynesian adventures all these companies offer compatible service with the ship.pier pick up. Ports very great as well a couple of extras the ship throws in when you are leaving Hilo going to Kona in the evening you pass by an active volcano throwing live lava into the ocean. The capain deliberately passes in clear view of this volcano activity and its late at night he darkens the starboard side of ship where we face the volcano and if its clear you see the most enthralling site. This was mesmerizing. As well when you leave Kuaui the captain brings the ship within 1 mile of the Napoli Coast just beautiful. We had great weather and for close to an hour had a gorgeous view of this coastline as we sailed by.
I know I said poor but this was about the ship only not the trip to Hawaii. I have sailed on many different lines. This wasnt the worst. That would be another review. Just read up on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. This is the worst ever. So in perspective this ship may be a poor to barely fair. Less
Cabin review: OK7618 Obstructed Oceanview
I did state in my review about this. Just to review NCL truely doesn't give you enough information to know how obstructed your oceanview will be. If you are by the elevators on the 7th deck you will get some window. But if you are in the mid ship range and 4-5 cabins away from the elevator you will have a lifeboat completely blocking your window and all you will get is daylight. As well thee is no room rate reduction they charge the same amount blocked or not blocked.Read All Obstructed Oceanview (OK) Reviews >>