Pride of America Review, Hawaiian Cruise Day Five

Continued from Day Four – Hilo


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Day five, found us in lovely Kona. It was the only port of call in which we were tendered into town. The port isn’t set up for a large boat and thus began an adventure! They use the lifeboats to tender, and getting people on and off was quite a task. Although the day was perfect, sunny and cloudless, the waves were pretty big. Each passenger had to wait until the tender was level with the stepping off point of the ship. It was a little frightening, as the level would drop about five feet then bounce back up at which point four crew members would help you on/off the tender.

Pride of America Tender
Pride of America Tender Rough Seas

The water here was stunning! I decided that my new favorite color was Kona Water Blue. Kona itself was a great place to just walk around. There really was no need to do an excursion or rent a car as we could snorkel just to the left of where we were dropped off.

Milo Snorkel Kona

The town has lots of shops and restaurants and fun things to look at. We stopped for shaved ice of course. And, we were happy to find on this trip that the latest trend in shaved ice (our favorite Hawaiian treat) is to use local syrups made with cane sugar and no dyes. Tasty and refreshing! We also stopped in for fish tacos and coconut Pina coladas at The Fish Hopper.

Fish Hopper Tacos

From our table you could look out a large open air wall to Kailua Bay. Having an open wall instead of windows contributed to the tropical Hawaiian atmosphere. Although after eating for free on the ship all week paying for your food takes some getting used to!

Water View Kona


Our family has been talking about moving to the islands either part time or full time for years, so after snorkeling we actually met with a local real estate agent and drove around looking at a handful of places for sale in Kona. Once we were back on the tender, surrounded by the gorgeous Kona blue waters, we had another treat waiting for us…spinner dolphins! They always seem so happy, jumping and spinning about alongside the boats. Lovely.

For dinner, we dined in the Italian Eatery on board, La Cucina. La Cucina is one of the ships Specialty Dining Venues, thus there is a $20 per person Cover Charge. Children aged 4-12 dine for half price when they order from the kids speciality menu or for free if they eat from the regular kid’s menu (children aged three and under eat for free). The restaurant, located on deck 11 aft, is the ship’s casual Italian restaurant with magnificent views and seating for 106 guests. The restaurant features dishes such as Pasta Soup, Carpaccio of Beef Tenderloin, Caesar Salad, Pizzas, Pastas and tasty entrees like risotto, chicken parmesan, and seared salmon. For dessert there is tiramisu, one of my husbands favorites and panna cotta, one of my favorites!

Pride of America La Cucina

We had the honor of dining with Frank DeAmicis, the Director of Food and Beverage at Norwegian Cruise Line. Frank proved to be a great dinner companion. Not only is he very knowledgable about the ship, he has a very interesting history. He started back in the 80’s as a sous chef at Keystone Resort and over the years worked his way up to become the Executive Chef at places like Wyndham Emerald Plaza San Diego, and Orlando Marriott and eventually at NCL. He is also the founding board member of the Caribbean Culinary Federation and holds a California state teaching credential, college level, in Hotel Management and Tourism, Culinary Art, Computers and Related Technology. He also told us he used to do Ice Skulpting! Frank is responsible for helping to put together the menus, not only on the Pride of America, but the entire NCL cruise line. We truly enjoyed meeting Frank and we were very impressed.

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Continued – See Day Six

Hollin Stafford
Hollin Stafford

Hollin is originally from California. After obtaining a degree in Sociology she worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines so that she could combine her work with something she’s always loved, travel. Later she found herself in Seattle, WA where she met her husband and went to work in the real estate field.

She moved with her family from Port Townsend, WA to Sintra, Portugal in 2016. They said they’d try it out for a year and never left! Leveraging her U.S. real estate background and the insights she’s gained over the years into Portuguese life, she works with the Brightman Group, guiding international buyers and connecting sellers. She loves her work and finds delight in helping people find their ‘spot’ in the world.

Hollin's passions also include spending quality time with family and friends, seeking out excellent food and writing. She writes in a variety of genres, from YA, to literary short stories, non-fiction and engaging travel pieces. Her current focus is on writing a memoir about what brought her family to Portugal.

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