NCL Pride of America and Hawaii



Hello! My husband and I have narrowed down our 20th anniversary cruise to three trips. The NCL cruise to Hawaii, the Carnival cruise from San Juan to the southern Caribbean, or some cruise (not sure which yet) to the western Caribbean.

I am trying to narrow it down to two choices. I am leaning towards the Carnival Victory to the Southern Caribbean, because 1) I have traveled on Carnival before and liked them (husband has never been on a cruise) 2) their rooms are bigger 3) the price is less compared to NCL-Hawaii 4) I like that there is a port every day.

However, I really want to go to Hawaii. I am intrigued by the freestyle cruising and am willing to give it a try. I have heard someone say (and I can't remember why they said this) that on NCL cruises, you can get "nickled and dimed to death." I believe that they were referring to meals that you pay for. Could you cruise the whole 7 days without buying a meal? I would like to keep any expense down that I can.

I know that the rooms will be smaller compared to Carnival. It's okay.

Wondering if anyone has traveled on the Pride of America before? What do you think? NIce ship? Any interesting or unique things on the ship?
Any feedback would be great! Thanks! P.S. our trip will be in May.


I am not a big fan of NCL, so please take what I offer as a biased opinion (hmmmm. Aren't all opinions biased?). Anyway, there are two reviews on the Pride here at C@s. Go to:

Now, my opinion. From what I have experienced (fairly reliable) and heard (often questionable), the food quality on the Pride is either very good or fairly bad. Service quality is often sub-standard. This is, to a large extent, because of the high number of American staff. Sorry to say, but American kids just don't have the drive to provide the attentive service which is the expected norm for the cruise industry. As a result, while they start off doing very well, over time, the quality of their service drops. If you are lucky, and get a steward and wait staff who are in their second or third month of contract, the odds are that you will get great service since their attitude has not yet burned out. If not ... sorry.

Other considerations - travel to/from the cruise. Your home location will be the major factor here. By and large, it's cheaper to get to the coastal ports than it is to/from Hawaii. Lodging at the por is an associated consideration. I always recommend arriving (at least) a day before, for a number of reasons. Hotels in Hawaii, especially in May can be expensive.

Of the choices you presented ... Hawaii vs. Caribbean, in May - I ran a quick search and found 60+ Caribbean cruises being offered at, or below, the cost of the Pride's Hawaiian offering. Some of them were as long as 14 days. Another consideration. Some were very 'port intensive', something you said you liked about the Pride's itinerary.


Not being a huge fan of Hawaii I think I would opt for the Caribbean regardless of what cruise line you may want to take. As for the 2 reviews here on Pride of America, interesting, one is pro and one con, I think that shows how subjective views can be. We always say food is subjective, actually everything or most everything we do has an subjective side.

I think it is interesting what was pointed out by CAlgon, the difference in cruising from the mainland (cost wise) and from Hawaii period, but I would add a little different view: If you really want to do Hawaii do it with both embarkation and debarkation taking place in Hawaii. why spend so many days at sea when you can have more days in port? This is just my opinion, mind you..

I guess we really haven't helped you make a decision have we.?? I happen to be an NCL loyalist and would take any NCL cruise over other lines if the itinerary and cost were similar, but we do look at those two things when we cruise. We normally cruise twice a year, once on NCL and once on another line.



Yes, you can go an entire week without paying extra for any food. I have cruised with NCL twice, however, I have not done a Hawaii cruise, nor am I likely to. I prefer to spend the entire week exploring the island (I've spent one week each on two islands).

Other than the meals, NCL charges for the same things Carnival and Royal Caribbean do. Nonetheless, you do not have to eat in the optional extra cost restaurants.



How do you mean nickeled and dimed to death. What extra stuff do pay for on the America that you don't pay for on other cruises??? We are considering a cruise around the islands in summer of 2010. What do we need to know....


#6 might want to read the review that is at the following link! I have never cruised with NCL and I have never been a proponent of cruising the Hawaiian Islands because I think you would miss way to much of what Hawaii is all about if you have to hustle your bustle back to the cruise ship every afternoon/evening. That being said when I read this review I was ready to call and make my reservation. These people had the vacation of a lifetime! The journal is like reading a novel that I couldn't put down. ENJOY!


Here is some information about cruising Hawaii on the NCLA Pride of America from a former employee on that ship. Yes you can eat all week without paying for a meal. There will be an automatic tip added to your account. Yes the service is very much unpredictable. There are some extremely good employees as well as some real lousy ones. The ship was remodeled in 2007 and is their only ship left cruising Hawaii. Yes they will try to get money out of you anyway they can but what cruise line wouldn't. Cruising Hawaii is a great way to get your first looks of the different islands. The islands will far outshine the ship and the service.

Why did I leave the cruise line? I was laid off when they got rid of the other ships. I did enjoy working with passengers while on the ships in the shore excursions department. I also met some great crew and passengers while working with the cruise lines as well as Hawaiians I met through work. I did not agree with all the company policies but then I have never found any job that I agree with everything the company does. You can enjoy a cruise of Hawaii on the Pride of America just remember the highlight is Hawaii and not the ship and crew.