Number of Cruises: 8
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of America
Sailing Date: December 15th, 2007
Embarkation: We got on at 12pm and had our
luggage and we were in our stateroom by 1:30pm. My husband and I had a
port-side balcony room (get port side for the Na Pali coast cruising in
Kauai!!!) and the boys in an inside cabin (they like the cave effect).
The stateroom steward was great... in fact, all the staff on the ship was great.
This is my 8th cruise, and it was the kid's 4th cruise (we have a 15 and 17 year old). It was the first time that the kids went on an NCL cruise, so the Freestyle Cruising was new for them, and overall, they did not care for it. I was very surprised at that. They felt that on Royal Caribbean, set dining times meant the food was better prepared, tasted much better, and the staff better prepared for your arrival.... that said from 2 boys who are not the biggest advocates on dressing up!
If you have never been on a cruise before, you will love this NCL America cruise. If you have cruised with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity before, you will know what you are missing and you will not care for the food nor the entertainment shows (except for the piano player in Pinks and the guitarist in the Napa Bar... both were awesome)... the entertainment shows (comedian and magician) were low quality and rather sad. The food was OK, but NOT great. My 15 year old loves buffets and was so disappointed in the Aloha Cafe... he was wanting Belgium Waffles with strawberries, and there were none. My 17 year old likes the Key West Grill by the South Beach Pool. Both boys were VERY disappointed in the Sports Court... basketball was not possible to play effectively on the basketball court. There were also not enough activities for 15-17 year olds to do on the ship. On Royal Caribbean, these kids have tons of stuff to do and love every minute of the trip... not so on Pride of America.
A good cup of coffee starts you off on the right foot each day, and drinking that cup of coffee on the balcony of your stateroom makes it wonderful... if the coffee is good. The coffee and ice tea were on the ship awful... my husband said it tasted like it was brewed in the boiler room with left over engine oil. My husband and I bought coffee ashore (100% Kona from the Maui Coffee Co) and brewed our own in the stateroom (they provide coffee makers in your room, which is great!).
We did this cruise because we could not have seen 4 islands in so short a time for the amount we paid, especially with 2 boys who can eat 6-7 meals a day... this ship does make a great floating hotel, and the food is OK, so overall it served our purpose well. We had a great time in Hawaii, and I am glad we cruised on the Pride of America, but I can also say that we will not cruise on the Pride of America or with NCL again (we just prefer a higher caliber cruise line). If you chose to go, be prepared to be disappointed with the food and coffee!