Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of America
Sailing Date: November 18th, 2006
I have just returned from the Pride of America (11-18/25), cruise and would do it again TOMORROW if I could!!!!! Hubby and I were 1st time cruisers and read ALL the reviews here and everywhere. We worried over the BAD stuff till we almost talked ourselves out of cruising. WE ARE SO GLAD WE DIDN'T !!!!!!! Do you hear me, we're SO glad we didn't. It was the most wonderful trip we have ever taken, and we have traveled a lot. The people who wrote those bad reviews are entitled to their opinions of course, but we saw NONE of what they spoke of. Let me clarify that:: We saw "rude" people still getting smiles and courtesy and good treatment, when we thought they should have gotten the opposite. We were always greeted with smiles and politeness from everyone we met. We ate a lot at the buffet because that is what served our purpose, but the times we made reservations for the specialty places we got the time and day we wanted and were seated upon entering and enjoyed AGAIN wonderful friendly reasonably fast service. Lazy J's Steakhouse is a MUST!! The food was spectacular and service was wonderful. Some places we just walked up and in without hesitation!! As for the buffet, well, let me say the food is adequate. It was always hot/warm good and filling. What else do you need?? The choices are not limitless, but again, there are enough to get you through the times you will be eating there. And breakfast behind the buffet at the end of the ship open air was breathtaking every morning!! Our cabin was perfect, with the balcony! There was plenty of storage space (almost tooo much actually), and the color of the wood was so rich looking we felt in a 5 star hotel. We had more then enough hangers even after I was instructed to bring my own. I did utilize the over the door shoe holder I brought which was perfect for the bathroom. Silly me it took 5 days to find there was a medicine cabinet behind a mirror DUH and ha ha! The balcony was a wonderful addition at night. I KNOW we couldn't see anything, but to look down and see the waves coming up off the ship as she drove through the sea was incredible and the feeling of the warm air at night was a treat knowing it was sleeting rain/snow at home!!
Our stewards Anna & Gemma were better then I hoped for. Each morning they greeted us with a smile. WHAT better way to start your day? Our room was always perfect, as was our stay. ............there is NO BETTER WAY to see Hawaii. Again, I am a 1st timer so have nothing to compare to. BUT....this was my 50th B-day and I wanted "special"....and I got it. Not because of the quality of the food, or the colors of the ship. It was special because I spent it with my husband in Hawaii Snorkeling with green sea turtles, zip-lining and taking helicopters above the Napali Coast line and because I ate more in that week then I do in a month! I got a tan when my friends were in snow boots and winter coats! Maybe hubby and I are just less demanding of people and things these days?? Maybe we got what we expected....a wonderful chauffer-ed drive from island to island, so we could make the most of our vacation.
The arrival and departure was flawless. Got on the ship the first day within 15 minutes and arrived at our room as our luggage did. At the end of the cruise it was also as smooth, NCL had everything arranged for an easy departure. The island ports were perfect for giving you a taste of every aspect of Hawaii. I would highly suggest the luau in Lahaina, as it is worth it.
The ship was beautifully decorated and always clean. The crew was always pleasant and happy to assist us if we needed anything. I even had someone escort me to the Mardi Gras Lounge the first time as it was a bit tricky to find, and she did so with a smile. The nightly entertainment did leave something to be desired. They need to get better acts and more of. The few things we saw were at best mediocre. And some days around the pool it was just TOOO LOUD, with the Director screaming into a mic., playing silly games. Some of us just wanted a relaxing afternoon to hang by the pool. Not be bombarded with noise, they could work on that I think.
All in all I WOULD recommend NCL's Pride of America to anyone who asked. We had a very enjoyable cruise from start to finish, and can't wait to do another. NCL has taken away our "cruise fright" and replaced it with a sense of security, Thank you. I know this is long and I apologize....... I hope everyone who goes experiences Hawaii for what she is.....a BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO BEHOLD!!!