Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of America
Sailing Date: February 17th, 2007
Pride of America Cruise Review
Returned from our Pride of America cruise to
Hawaii a few weeks ago and I keep thinking about the trip and the wonderful time
that we had. I just read a negative review and thought I’d write a different
The pick up from the airport to the ship went quickly and without a hitch. We landed at 3:30 from Chicago and were on the ship by 4:45. Everything was organized and people were helpful. We got onto the ship (pretty tired because of the 5 hour time difference), checked out the room, and headed out for a 5:30 dinner.
We had a room with a balcony, which was very nice. When the ship is moving, it is sometimes too breezy to be out there, but sometimes it was fine. It was great on Friday when we passed the coast of Kauai. Scenic and beautiful. We enjoyed the privacy. The room was cold the first night and morning, but I complained the next day and by the time we were back in the room, the heat was fixed. Very responsive. Ordered room service the first morning and it came at exactly the time that we ordered it. The room was cleaned twice a day and we appreciated how hard the woman cleaning the room was working. We gave her a $20 additional tip the last day and she had tears in her eyes when she hugged us. We were touched.
We ate most nights at the Liberty or Skyline restaurants. We tend to eat early (around 6) and there was never a wait. We liked the free styling concept and liked that we didn’t have to eat with strangers, always trying to make conversations. The service was quick and staff was friendly. The food was very good, although maybe not always hot. One night, I didn’t like the pasta and the head chef was called and said he offered to make anything else I wanted! I declined but was surprised how eager to please he and all the staff were. We didn’t have any complaints and looked forward to every meal. The lobster was excellent and I think we had soufflés on three nights. The hours for the buffet upstairs were perfect and the food was plentiful and diverse. We ended up getting up early, never having fully adjusted to the change in time. We sat out on the back deck, drinking coffee, and watching the sun rise. The choice in food for breakfast and lunch at the buffet was very good. The smoked salmon was a treat. I especially enjoyed the individually made Cesar salads for lunch. We ate at the buffet one night as well – too tired to get cleaned up. We had no complaints and saw lots of families with young kids eating at the buffet. We always ate outside on a back deck and it was never crowded.
We went to a show each night and enjoyed all of them. One evening, we went to a bar and listened to a singer/guitar player. My husband thought he was so good, that he wanted to buy a CD, although none was available. We tended to go to bed early (time difference again) so the entertainment corresponded to our turning in early each evening.
The islands were wonderful and we and everyone else seemed to be off the ship from morning to dinner time. We did a mix of things. We took a tour of Hilo on the first day through Green Tours, and we saw many things and I think saved some money. It was chilly at the volcano but we had worn jeans and had brought jackets. We rented a car for two days in Maui and ended up with a cute convertible. Saw the entire western part of the island. In Kona, we took a Captain Zodiac trip, which was a little disappointing. The ride was rough and long and was tough on the back, although we did see whales. Loved Kauai where we took a kayak/hike one afternoon and just sat by a nearby beach the last day.
As our flight didn’t leave until 4:30, we took a ship’s tour around Honolulu. Did get to see the Arizona, Punchbowl, and a little of the city. Checked the luggage straight through and that was nice not to have to deal with it. I filled my large suitcase with souvenirs but didn’t have to pay extra because of using the Easy Fly program. The only problem we had was when our flight in Chicago back to Pittsburgh was cancelled and we had to spend a day in a hotel in Chicago, but that’s a risk you take traveling in February.
All in all, I would go again in a minute. I wasn’t going to write a review but I read a review that someone who was on the same trip that I was on. Can’t understand that the complaints, because there really wasn’t anything to complain about from my perspective. The trip was better than I expected. It was a great way to see Hawaii, and I thought the ship and crew were more than accommodating.