Friday, January 25, 2013

Cruising Hawaii

Norwegian Pride of America

Ah Hawaii.  Paradise.  This particular trip began with my grandmother's dream of going to paradise-and evolved into a girls trip with 3 generations of sisters.  With such a large group, and with dreams of seeing as much of Hawaii as possible, we decided to take a cruise around the islands; four islands in eight days, with a decent price.  All aboard!

We booked the cruise through Liberty Travel, and although I've used them in the past I don't think I'll be using them any more; the last two trips have had small issues, but issues that should have been resolved by a travel agent-and they were not.  There's so many websites out there for traveling on a cruise, and I have booked myself multiple times in the past, so it just seems as if that is what I will be doing from now on. 

The Pride of America is a nice ship, although it definitely is not my favorite and it is somewhat small. This was my second cruise on NCL, and I have to say that I really do prefer Royal Caribbean-I feel as if their ships are more geared towards adults, and have a “higher” level of service and ambiance.  Our room was one of the smallest I’ve had on a cruise ship, and it was slightly dirty-there was mold and the bathroom looked very worn.  The food was good, but I found that they went very heavy on the sauces for the entrees, almost drowning the food to give it flavor.  That being said, the Pride of America is the only ship that does a Hawaiian cruise with no days at sea, which is why we booked the cruise in the first place.  There were also some cute aspects of the ship-in the main buffet they have a children’s section, which I found to be adorable.  The service was also good, and all of the crew members were friendly and responsive.  When you board the ship you are also given a fresh orchid lei, which really allowed us to get into the mindset of the islands.
While on board, we ate at the following restaurants:
Aloha Café

This is the main buffet, and we only ate here for breakfast.  They had a good selection of fruits and hot items, and we were always able to find a seat even for our party of 6.

Liberty Restaurant

Liberty Restaurant is the main formal dining room.  The views are beautiful, especially when you’re sailing.  NCL has “My Time Dining”, so you don’t need reservations.  Although I was nervous about having to possibly wait with our large party, we never had to.  Our food came quickly, and there was a huge selection each night.  Service was good and friendly, and the crew had great suggestions about what to do in town while we were docked.

East Meets West

East Meets West is one of the cover charge ($15) restaurants aboard the ship.  After paying the cover charge though you get unlimited food; and we tried a lot.  The restaurant itself is similar to PF Chengs, so they offer comparable appetizers and entrees, but the food is really delicious.  It’s also a smaller setting, and would be perfect if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion.

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