Pride of America Review, Hawaiian Cruise Day One

My family was lucky enough to enjoy a cruise through the Hawaiian Islands on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America.

Pride of America Welcome Lei

We stepped onto the Pride of America in Honolulu, Hawaii and were greeted by hula dancers. In the boarding area my husband, Jed, and son, Milo were given shell leis and I was given a flower lei. The boarding process itself was efficient and friendly and we found ourselves surrounded by other passengers who seemed equally excited to be there. The turn around for this ship is pretty amazing. The passengers ending their journey dis-embark on the same day the new ones come aboard. Hence it is common for one to board before the staterooms are actually ready. We took this time to explore the ship that would be home for the next week. We also went to the Splash Academy, NCL’s (Norwegian Cruise Line) kids club, to get our ten year old son, Milo, registered to participate for the week.

Pride of America Chess
Pride of America - Mojito
Pride of America - Suite Front
Pride of America - Suite Rear
Pride of America - Library

As the name suggests, the ship is themed ‘American’. While exploring, we found an oversized chess set on one of the decks. My husband, Jed, taught us how to play. Milo won! We met a few of the crew members, helped ourselves to food from the grill by the pool (Milo said the hamburger was amazing) and Jed and I settled into cruise mode with a refreshing mojito. The weather was a typical gorgeous Hawaiian day. Full of sunshine and warm breezes. They announced decks by number as the cabins on each floor came available. Our deck was ready about the time we were finishing our refreshments, so we headed to our room to check it out. It was a nice room with a balcony, but we immediately realized that it felt small in comparison to the balcony we had on the NCL Jade on a previous cruise. We had been in a mini suite on the Jade…amazing what a few extra square feet can do! Victoria Hart wrote a piece we can all relate too on Art Auctions on the Jade. After checking out our room we attended a meet and greet with others who had registered on the cruise critique site, Cruise Critic. Cruise Critic is an online guide to cruising that includes a forum for posting cruise reviews and information. The meet and greet took place in the library which has a fabulous selection of books and is in a great setting.   We met some of the crew staff, including the hotel director. We discovered that his wedding was in the same location as ours on Kauai! We found him and the rest of the crew to be both professional and kind. We chatted with fellow cruisers from various parts of the world, which is one of the many aspects of cruising that we enjoy. The chance to talk to others from around the world, or even other states, is an important aspect for us. We enjoy hearing how others view the world, and find it interesting to hear their impressions of America/Americans.

Pride of America - Pool Overhead

After we attended the mandatory muster (lifeboat and safety drill) I went to the gym while the boys went to the pool. I was basically the only person in the gym due to the fact that people were still boarding, and perhaps, because many people had flown in to Hawaii the same day, they were too tired to exercise. However, after hearing that the average person gains 7 to 14 pounds on a cruise, I made sure that I went! I managed to do an hour on the machines thanks to the help of the built in TV screens on every machine. I watched Meet the Fockers and actually found myself laughing while exercising! The gym was well equipped with treadmills, ellipiticals, and bikes. As well as weight machines and free weights. They even had a small refrigerator that contained chilled towels. Nice touch!

I went to find Jed and Milo at the pool and there was a DJ playing some great music. We sailed away from Honolulu after night had fallen…a gorgeous site indeed. After showers, we headed to the theater to see that night’s show…it was a compilation of various acts by those that would be performing throughout the week. The cruise director introduced some key staff members, many we had met earlier at the meet and greet in the library.

Pride of America - Broccoli Soup
Pride of America - Salmon Tar Tar
Pride of America - Salmon
Pride of America - Key Lime Pie

For our first night on board, we decided to go to dinner in the main dining room. The surroundings were lovely, sparkly stars on the curtains and gorgeous lights. The pillars were shaped to look like skyscrapers, in keeping with the America theme, and were lit from within. We had broccoli soup, salad, and salmon tartare for starters. I had salmon as my entrée. I was a bit nervous ordering it, as salmon is easily overcooked and seeing as how we live in the Pacific Northwest we can get really great salmon at home. My fears were unfounded as it was cooked perfectly and had a nice crust (though I thought it needed a little more seasoning). Jed had garlic shrimp and Milo had soup and they were both happy. Key lime pie was the dessert choice for Jed and me, vanilla ice cream for Milo.

NCL - Pride of America - Observation Deck Sunset

All in all the service and the food were nice. We were spoiled on our last cruise on the NCL Jade as we had prepaid to use all the specialty restaurants and they were amazing! However, considering the amount of people they serve in a single day, the food was fairly impressive. After a long day we headed back to our cabin looking forward to docking in Maui the next day and meeting up with an old college friend of mine.

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Continued – See Day Two Maui

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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