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Paul Motter September 5th, 2012 01:15 PM

Norwegian to Upgrade Pride of America
Norwegian to Upgrade Pride of America
by Paul Motter

The largest American-flagged cruise ship in service will get new suites, staterooms, public rooms and amenities
The new suites bring the design
standards of Norwegian to
Pride of America
Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America, with 2124 passenger berths, is the largest American-flagged cruise ship in the world. That means it can sail solely within the Hawaiian Islands without having to visit a foreign port - an obvious advantage. The ship sails seven-day cruises out of Honolulu and spends each day in port at one of the four islands; Oahu, Maui and including overnight stays in Hawaii and Kawai.

Due to recent changes in Federal government policy; rescinding the Title XI ship financing program for American flag cruise ships, it appears Pride of America could remain the only mainstream-sized American-flagged cruise ship in service for a very long time.

Read more: Norwegian to Upgrade Pride of America

Jtb333 December 31st, 2012 09:45 AM

Help this ship
I am so happy they are upgrading this. I think they should incorporate more though, and give a more extensive refit, like carnival sunshine. I think they should split it open and lengthen it, add an ice bar, a waterslides or two, and a Hawaiian themed restaurant, and more rooms and other breakaway class features. Oh and make the front look less hideous

Elliott September 22nd, 2013 03:07 PM

Sailed on the Pride of America a number of years ago in Hawaii. Was the best NCL cruise that I have been on!!! To bad that something can't be done about the BUTT UGLY outside looks of the ship... Have sailed on the NCL's Wind, Sky and Aloha all disappointing cruise experiences. Never again on NCL...

Travelbuggs September 27th, 2013 08:57 AM


Originally Posted by Elliott (Post 1485189)
Sailed on the Pride of America a number of years ago in Hawaii. Was the best NCL cruise that I have been on!!! To bad that something can't be done about the BUTT UGLY outside looks of the ship... Have sailed on the NCL's Wind, Sky and Aloha all disappointing cruise experiences. Never again on NCL...

Hi, Newbie here. Still getting used to this site, which I happened to stumble across!

Elliott, you obviously have not sailed with Norwegian in a number of years. We have sailed on most of the mainstream lines, and NCL is our favorite by far.

We will be on the POA in august 2014 and have been following the ship's refurbishment story. Just a word of warning to anyone thinking of booking one of the new suites, I believe on deck 13. They are, I believe, as of today still being advertised by NCL as being 2 bedroom suites when in fact they are not. They are currently in the midst of a PR nightmare as cruisers are just now being notified of the error and NCL is attempting to make it right with their passengers.

That said, IMO, if you want to cruise Hawaii, there is no better option than NCL. Over 100 port hours, and really, that is why I'm going to Hawaii. Not expecting the ship experience to be the same as the rest of the fleet. September 27th, 2013 02:10 PM

We were on the Pride of America two years ago and I'm glad to see it's getting a much overdo refurbishment as it was starting to look a little tired.

We've been on several NCL cruises and they definitely have their huge fans and big critics. It really is a love/hate relationship; people either love them or hate them - there's just not alot of people in the middle of the road with them. So I'm probably one of the few as I can take them or leave them.

While they're not my personal favorite, I've never had a bad cruise and have always enjoyed my time on NCL. The only thing I don't like is the food - to us it's just okay. In fact, I had a very long 1-1/2 hour conversation with one of their head chefs once and he explained that he is trained Master Chef, yet they won't let him do what he is trained to do. Like alot of cruise lines are doing, they don't prepare alot of things onboard like they use to, preferring instead to bring on alot of pre-prepared foods, so it's more of a heat-&-eat than actual preparing the food from scratch.

Because of this, I always tell clients to plan and spend at least another $100 onboard because they're going to want to do several of the specialty restaurants.

With that said, we found the POA to be a wonderful cruise. The food was definitely nothing special at all, but the staff was awesome! When the ship first started in Hawaii, the staff got VERY bad reviews - they were terrible. But they've gotten all the bugs worked out of the system and now the staff is fantastic. They made some great strides in this area.

The itinerary is very good, spending more time in port and going to more ports than any other Hawaiian cruise option. Gives you plenty of time to explore the islands.

We pre-reserved rental cars in each port and did our own thing, which was a great decision as we got to go places, see things, and do things we would not have otherwise been able to do. While there are some very good shore excursions, I definitely suggest not booking any and do your own thing. You'll save ALOT of money and get to do more. We rented a car in one port for $25 a day! And in another port, we paid $35 and they gave us a brand new Mustang Convertible!!

But I highly suggest going over at least a day or two before the cruise, especially if you're leaving from the East Coast. And of course, one of the mandatory 'must see' places is Pearl Harbor. You can now go online and reserve ahead of time - definitely suggest using this because the lines can be quite long and the wait to do the tour even longer. But well worth it!

Very magical place to visit. We spent 3 weeks there - a week on Oahu, a week on the cruise, and then at week on Maui. We absolutely loved it and would love to live there.


Paul Motter September 27th, 2013 03:04 PM

I agree on going over early. It is actually the only way you will see Oahu (honolulu) since that is the one place where the ship does not stay overnight. Unfortunately, Honolulu is now the most expensive city in the world.

But that does not mean you can't get a good deal if you shop around. September 27th, 2013 05:10 PM

Yep, some decent rates can be had at some very nice hotels.

But here's a hint; if you want to rent a car in Honolulu so you can drive around the island, do it at the airport - it's MUCH cheaper than renting close to the hotels. Also, everybody charges for parking, so you have to plan to spend about $20 - $25 per day for that.

However, if you don't want to rent a car and only plan to go to Pearl Harbor, you can either take a city bus (cheap but takes a while), or get some coupons from your hotel as there are always shuttle services that don't charge a huge amount.

And lastly, but the most expensive option, there are a lot of tour companies who will provide all sorts of tours around the island.

Personally, I am so very glad we rented a car. We spent 2 days driving around the island, stopping at many places for pictures and sightseeing. It's a magnificent island with incredible beauty. Not to mention all the great food!

We met a local who recommended an out-of-the way place in Kaneohe that was incredible. The cook use to be a master chef at a 5-star resort and decided to open his own little restaurant. It was the best meal we had in our entire 3-week stay!

We also found a little shrimp shack on the side of the road on the north shore that had their own shrimp ponds in the back. Talk about fresh! The shrimp were still alive when we placed our order!! Can't get any fresher than that and the food was awesome.

You miss out on things like this when doing tours or shore excursions.

We took our GPS with us and it worked great getting us to all the places we wanted to see off the beaten path.


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