The Pride of Haawai'i is NCL's latest ship to travel the hawaiian route. There were 5 of us in our group, and 3 of us haared on outside cabin with a balcony. The room was generous for NCL standards, and our bathroom was large enough to have a bath and shower included. My wife's parents had an outside cabin that while vomfortable, was significantly smaller then ours.
We had flown to Honolulu a day early to avouid the normal transportation frustrations of flying and getting on a ship the same day. we were booked at the Marriott which was a nice hotel, and had a NCL office on the first floor where we could avoid the lines at normal check in at the ship. If you can fly a day or so earlier to Hawaii and de-compress fromthe travel, I highly recommend this action.
I had read a few reviews of the ship [previously to our sail date, and several of the rewiers were quite accurate. We found out 3 days into the cruise from one of our waiters that our particular week there was 160 staff short, which accounted for several of the minor problems we faced during our cruise. To name one of our repeat problems, whenever we got to eat after 8 am, we noticed that there was a shortage of clean coffee cups! Even the on-board commedian talked about it in his routine! I think that 'Frreestyle'eating is OK, but we had problems getting into one of 8 restaurants simply because they were full or simply not open that evening. The staff that were in the various restaurants were pleasant but not what we've comt to expect after going on 10+ cruises. I know the work is hard, and several waiters had to do double duty in serving more then one meal, but we were not there to hear complaints from the staff (which we heard more then once).
On the positive side of the trip, the islands were gorgeous and unique in their qualities. To see lava flow at night is unforgetable, and we cruised on the side of Kauai where King Kong was filmed, which was spectacular. We rented cars in two islands, which was convenient, and took the cruise tours on two islands, which were fun.
We enjoyed the week in general, but I really hope that NCL will figure out how to improve the service on the ship. I know it's only been in service 5 weeks, but I thought that by now the management would have tried to solve staff shortages by now. I really tried to enjoy the ship experience, but 'the devil's in the details' kept me from giving high marks to the ship.
I do hope that future cruisers will have better on board experience then we did. There are really no competiting cruise line that does the ilands as extensivly as NCL, and I do hope they take the cruise reviews seriously.
Go to the islands to experience the beauty, the coffee, and e specially the sunsets, which are spectacular.