ShipsNorwegianPride of America Reviews and Tips - NCL

Pride of America Reviews and Tips – NCL

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America cruise ship is the only ship to cruise Hawaii 52 weeks a year.   This 2,138 passenger ship built in 2005 was the first new U.S. flagged cruise ship in 50 years.  The spacious suites and abundance of balcony staterooms provide an excellent opportunity to whale watch or witness the Kilauea Volcano.  The staff on the ship are primarily American or citizens from U.S. territories.

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The 7 night cruises on the POA (Pride of America) embark out of Honolulu and stop at ports in Maui, Hilo, Kona, and Nawiliwili (kauai).  As a matter of fact, this is the only 7 night inter-island cruise that is offered by any cruise line.

The POA offers Freestyle cruising in it’s 14 restaurants.  There are also 9 bars and lounges, complimentary kids and teen programs, 3 pools, 4 hot tubs, a fitness room, a library, card room, Kumu cultural center, a theatre, coffee bar, and several gift shops.  Since the ship flies under the U.S. flag and stays in U.S. waters, there is no casino on the POA.  Before we go into detail about the restaurants and activities offered on the POA, here is a short 4 minute video about cruising Hawaii on the POA.


The following restaurants are included in your cruise fare and there are no extra charges to dine at them.

  • Aloha Cafe – Indoor/outdoor buffet style cafe with omelets, fruit, soups, pasta, ethnic specialties etc.
  • Cadillac Diner – 1950’s style diner that makes you think you were on the set of Happy Days.  Menu includes burgers, fish ‘n chips, potpies and wok-fast fishes.  Open 22 hours a day.
  • Liberty Main Dining Room – This main dining room will take you back to the colonial days and features paintings of our Founding Fathers and important moments in American History.
  • Room Service – Available 24/7 but has a delivery charge from midnight to 5 am.
  • Skyline Main Dining Room – This dining room was inspired by the architecture and skyscrapers of 1930 NYC.

The following restaurants have a surcharge if you wish to dine at them.

  • 24/7 Pizza – $5 a person, pizza delivery to just about anywhere on the ship.
  • East Meets West – $15, Pan Asian cuisine with sushi a la carte.
  • Jefferson’s Bistro – $20, upscale French restaurant.
  • Lazy J Texas Steakhouse – $25, menu of beef, veal, lamb, pork, seafood, and grilled chicken.
  • Little Italy – $10, Italian restaurant pattern after one you would find in Little Italy, NYC.
  • Sushi Bar –  $15, Sushi and sashimi bar that is priced a la carte.
  • Teppanyaki – $25, an authentic Asian dining experience. Your food is processed and prepared right before your eyes while you sit at your table.

The lounges and bars on board are the Gold Rush Saloon, John Adam’s Coffee Bar, Key West Bar & Grill, Lanai Bar, Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge & Nightclub, Napa Wine Bar, Ocean Drive Bar that overlooks the South Beach Pool, Pink’s Champagne Bar, and the Waikiki Bar.

Entertainment and Relaxation

The POA has Broadway and Vegas style shows in their Hollywood Theater.  The theatre sits close to 900 passengers and gives you the red carpet treatment that you deserve while at sea.  The Mandara Spa offers a tranquil environment in a New Mexican setting so you can be pampered and rejuvenated with a massage, body wrap, or facial.

The pool deck is full of fun for the entire family.  There are 2 main pools on the pool deck with 4 hot tubs.  There is also a basketball/volleyball court, golf driving nets to work on your swing, a Gyrosphere, and outdoor chess.

The conservatory on board provides a quiet area in a tropical setting.  The chapel functions as a meeting room or place where you can renew your vows while at sea.  The library is stocked with a variety of reading materials and the room is full of memorabilia and artifacts of the SS American Ship.  The SoHo art gallery has paintings by well-known artists.

The POA is a great place for families.  There is the Connections Teen Club that is a hip fun place where teenagers can hang out, dance, play on the jukebox, and also has table football and air hockey.  For younger children, there is the Rascals Kids’s Club with a paddling pool, soft play area, computers, movie room, and a jungle gym.

An internet cafe is also on board if you need to catch up on email or send a message to your family and friends.  Rates start out at 75 cents a minute and get cheaper if you purchase larger blocks of time.  WIFI (for the same fee) is available in most public rooms of the ship.

The dress on the ship is tropical/casual with one optional formal night.  Jeans are not allowed in the main dining rooms after 5 pm and a few of the nicer restaurants have a stricter dress code where cocktail attire is appropriate.

Newbury Street Shops offer a wide selection of gifts, jewelry, and specialty goodies. If you forget to pack anything(swimsuit, Crocs, dress pants, sunscreen, Benadryl etc), you will most likely be able to pick it up in one of the shops on the ship.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
ShipsNorwegianPride of America Reviews and Tips - NCL



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