I recently returned from a wonderful 7-night cruise around Hawaii onboard PRIDE OF AMERICA. I also had the privilege to sail on PRIDE OF AMERICA during a special 2-night preview cruise back in July. I liked the ship so much I booked a full 7-day cruise on her, and was not disappointed. Like almost everything in life, PRIDE OF AMERICA was not perfect. None the less I would not hesitate to recommend this ship to almost anyone or certainly return myself. Sailing on this fantastic ship is truly a wonderful and comfortable way to see several Hawaiian islands (not to mention relatively inexpensive). Any disappointments were minor and had no impact on my enjoyment of the ship or cruise.
I wrote a pretty extensive review of the ship back in July, so I decided there was no need to go that route again. The biggest difference between what I experienced in July as opposed to October was an overall improvement in service and housekeeping. Again, it wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good. What I did do is jot down some comments about what I really liked about PRIDE OF AMERICA, and also a few items that could use some improvement. I hope you find them helpful if you are considering a cruise on POAM.
Also, there are two links to pictures at the end of my comments. The first link contains pictures taken during the Hawaii cruise on 10/01/2005. The second link contains extensive ship pictures taken during the preview cruise in July. Just about every public area is covered, as well as many cabin/suite categories. I hope you enjoy them!
What I liked:
* Plenty of unlimited towels by the pool
* Great restaurant choices (all excellent and we tried every last one!)
* Restaurant reservations were easy - all confirmed during my first night onboard by a single phone call
* The food - I thought it was very good
* The dining availability screens around the ship
* Overall decor of the ship (very pleasing to the eye)
* The crew and staff (about the friendliest I've encountered in 60 cruises)
* Beds - very comfy and loved the duvet
* Limited announcements (maybe 1 or 2 a day max)
* The Lanai Bar/Lounge - just beautiful and the leather smell is great too!
* Free canapés at the Lanai Bar/Lounge every night
* The Aloha Buffet - good choices and food seemed very fresh
* Free soft ice cream available almost 24/7 - with premium toppings like M&M's, sprinkles, etc.
* The ports - Hawaii is FANTASTIC - the Caribbean or Mexico don't compare by a longshot
* Embarkation and Disembarkation - very simple and short lines
* Tours - very organized and efficient even though I only took two
* The little dials next to every cabin to indicate "welcome", "turn-down cabin", "make-up cabin", "DND"
* Cabin corridors - some of the brightest, widest, and well appointed I've seen on any ship
* The gym/spa - great work-out equipment and I love the individual flat screen panels at all cardio stations
* Sauna/steam room - both very nice and the steam room is lit by small lights which change colors.
* The jewelry shop onboard - the largest jewelry shop I've seen only any ship - just massive!
What I didn't like (or could be improved):
* Cabin could have been cleaned slightly better (dusting, vacuuming, etc)
* Rust stains on the balcony rail
* Balcony never wiped down (probably not ever)
* Production shows seemed very amateur
* Having to remember to add a tip to every drink
* Crew and staff were very friendly and outgoing, but could have been more efficient at times
* Room service menu not very extensive
* Interactive TV not working yet (the software company has gone bankrupt)
* Long waits to get on the ship at various ports due to security (I know this can't be avoided - thank you 9/11)
* The time change - we are late people but were wiped out by 10pm thanks to the 6 hour time difference
Hawaii Cruise Vacation Pics (10-1-2005)
PRIDE OF AMERICA ship pics (taken 7-8-2005)
If anyone has any specific questions about the ship, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or just reply to this thread.