CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Cruise Line Pride of America by Sonya Hawaii June 30, 2007

We went on the Pride of America to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, along with our 3 grade school children. Having read several negative reviews I had some concerns regarding the cruise. We had been on 6 cruises before but had never experienced "free style" cruising.

I am pleased to say that the trip was wonderful. There were no major problems such as I had read in other reader reviews.

Minor problems -- We had a suite with five guests but could never seem to get more than 4 sets of towels. The staff were friendly, cordial and appropriate. The were not fawning, coying and sucking up for a tip, they just seemed to be regular folk doing their jobs. I appreciated that the staff were Americans at work.

The food in the specialty restaurants was excellent. The restaurants with the additional costs were all worth the money. The Italian restaurant did not have any extra cost and had an excellent osso buco with creamy risotto. The Cadillac Diner was good for a quick meal. The main dining room was ok for breakfast. we only had one dinner in the main dining room and it was mediocre. Other passengers did say that other nights had better food in the main dining room than on the one night we chose to go there. Reservations were easy to make, as you could only make reservations for the next 48 hours, so no one could fill the restaurants by day one of the cruise, as had been mentioned as a past complaint.

The shore excursions were so-so, but given that we were on the Hawaiian islands, we struck out on our own for the most part, with the exception of going to Volcano National Park, which we thought would be best experienced with a tour guide, as well as the sunrise at Haleakala, which we thought would be best driven at 3:00am by someone who does that on a regular basis. Both tours were acceptable and informative. The river boat ride on Kuai, which went to the fern grotto was pretty boring, nothing of note, and I would recommend skipping this unless you are exhausted and just want a rest. Most passengers seemed to be on the verge of taking a nap, even during the corny entertainment.

We rented cars on the islands, and were able to sightsee. The car rental places have shuttles which pick you up at the pier, and there is parking at the pier for the overnight island stays. We did not do the luau , having been to a luau when we were in hawaii in the past, but if you haven't ever been to a luau it might be something to consider. We stayed a few days on Oahu before the cruise, and went to the "Magic of Polynesia" show. This was an excellent magic show, I would highly recommend it for the show. We paid extra for the deluxe package and seating was excellent. The food, on the other hand, was inedible. Fortunately the show made up for the food. I would pay for the deluxe package just for the premium seating, and eat dinner elsewhere either before or after the show.

All in all, we loved the cruise, the ship and the islands, and would recommend the Pride of America to family and friends.

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