Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Pride of America
Ship: 371 out of 500
Accommodation: 148 out of 200
Food: 214 out of 400
Service: 206 out of 400
Entertainment: 68 out of 100
Cruise: 237 out of 400
Overall Score: 1244 out of 2000
Pride of America Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9209221
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding (USA)/Lloyd Werft (Germany)
Original Cost: $450 million
Entered Service: Jul 2005
Length (ft/m): 921.9/281.0
Beam (ft/m): 106.6/32.2
Draft (ft/m): 26.25/8.0
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (32,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods
Passenger Decks: 11
Total Crew: 917
Passengers (lower beds): 2,266
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 35.9
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.4
Cabins (total): 1,135
Size Range (sq ft/m): 129.1-1,377.8/12.0-128.0
Cabins (for one person): 4
Cabins (with private balcony): 665
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 22
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2
Hot Tubs (on deck): 0
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
A large, family-friendly resort ship for Hawaii cruises
Overview. The ship suits first-time young couples, single passengers, children, and teenagers who enjoy city nightlife and who want contemporary, upbeat surroundings, plenty of entertainment lounges and bars, and high-tech sophistication - all in one well-packaged cruise vacation, with constant music, participation activity, and entertainment. But don’t expect good service - most of the crew simply don’t cut it.
The Ship. Pride of America, which sank during its dockside reconstruction at Germany’s Lloyd Werft shipbuilders, sails on inter-island cruises, focusing on Hawaii’s islands. The 85,850-sq-ft (7,975-sq-m) open deck space includes a sunbathing/pool deck inspired by Miami’s South Beach - think Ocean Drive/Lincoln Mall - and an Art Deco area.
The stunning interior design is modeled after a ‘Best of America’ theme, with public rooms named after famous Americans. Facilities include the Capitol Atrium (a lobby spanning eight decks and said to be inspired by the Capitol Building and White House), a large casino, a conservatory complete with tropical landscaped garden and live exotic birds, SoHo Art Gallery (holding art auctions), Washington Library, and Newbury Shopping Center.
Six dedicated meetings rooms range in size from boardrooms for 10 people to an auditorium for up to 250. The ship has a mainly Hawaiian crew.
A non-changeable service charge (as distinct from a gratuity) for staff is added to your onboard account at $12 per person ($6 for children aged 3-12) per day; this is pooled for all crew and provides payment when they are on vacation. You will be expected to provide gratuities. In addition, a 15 percent gratuity plus Hawaii’s sales tax (because of the ship’s US registry) is added to all bar (and 18 percent for spa treatment) accounts.
Although the islands are pleasant enough, a cruise aboard this ship is likely to test your patience. In 2014, four single occupancy ‘studios’ were added.
Accommodation. About 75 percent of all cabins have outside views. There are also a large number of family-friendly interconnecting cabins; many cabins have third/fourth upper berths, and some family-friendly cabins can accommodate as many as six. Some suites have king-size beds, while most cabins have twin beds that can be placed together to make a queen-size bed. In 2013, four Studio-grade cabins were added, as were 24 ‘suites’ and four interior (no-view) cabins (in the space previously used as a conference center. Butler and concierge service is provided for suite-grade occupants, who also get Lavazza espresso makers, Elemis bath products, private dining for breakfast and lunch, and other perks. A number of cabins are wheelchair-accessible - some are equipped for the hearing-impaired.
Grand Suites. Grand Suites have around 1,400 sq ft (130 sq m) of living space. It is located high atop the ship forward of the sun deck and offers sweeping views from its walk-around outdoor terrace, which includes a hot tub and large relaxation/sunbathing area. It has a large living room with Bang & Olufsen entertainment center (television, DVD/CD player with library), wet bar, separate dining room with dining table and six chairs. The master bedroom has a king-size bed, large bathroom, with whirlpool tub and separate shower enclosure; dressing area with flat-screen TV, and walk-in closet. At the entrance to the suite is a guest powder room.
Owner’s Suites. Measuring around 870 sq ft (80 sq m), these are named after indigenous flowers in Hawaii such as Bird of Paradise, Gardenia, Orchid, Plumeria. Each has a bedroom with king-size bed, walk-in closet, dressing area, separate living room with Bang & Olufsen entertainment center. The bathroom has a whirlpool tub and separate shower enclosure. There is also a large private balcony with hot tub, outdoor dining facilities, and sun beds.
Deluxe Penthouse Suites. These measure around 735 sq ft (68 sq m). They have a separate bedroom with king-size bed and walk-in closet; the bathroom has a whirlpool tub, separate shower enclosure, two washbasins, dressing area; living room with Bang & Olufsen entertainment center, wet bar, and private balcony.
Penthouse Suites. These measure 504-585 sq ft (47-55 sq m), and have a separate bedroom with king-size bed and walk-in closet; the bathroom has a whirlpool tub, separate shower enclosure, two washbasins, dressing area; living room with Bang & Olufsen entertainment center, wet bar, and private balcony.
Family Suites. These measure around 360 sq ft (34 sq m). Each has a main bedroom with two twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, a living room with double sofa bed and entertainment center, separate den with single sofa bed. Another four family ‘suites,’ measuring 330-380 sq ft (30.5-35 sq m), have an interconnecting door between two cabins; there are thus two bathrooms.
Standard outside-view and interior cabins. Outside-view cabins have either a window or porthole, depending on location, twin beds that can convert into a queen-size bed, TV, satellite-dial telephone, and personal safe; the bathrooms have a built-in hairdryer.
Dining. Freestyle Cruising means you get a choice of several restaurants and informal eateries. Choose from two main dining rooms, and six other à-la-carte and casual venues (some incur a cover charge).
Main restaurants include the 628-seat Skyline Restaurant - with decor inspired by the skyscrapers of the 1930s - and the 496-seat Liberty Dining Room, with two seatings.
Other dining options. The 106-seat Lazy J Texas Steak House is a contemporary steak house with Texas decor - the artwork includes Houston Space Center, Texas Rangers, and Dallas Cowboys.
East Meets West is an intimate 32-seat Pacific Rim/Asian Fusion restaurant with a sushi/sashimi bar and a Teppanyaki grill room with two tables (showmanship food is prepared in front of you). Jefferson’s Bistro, seating 104, is the ship’s ‘signature’ restaurant, with an à-la-carte menu of classic and nouvelle French cuisine. The decor is inspired by that of Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello - Jefferson was the US ambassador to France from 1785 to 1789 before becoming America’s third president.
Little Italy, a casual Italian eatery, serves pasta, pizza, and other popular light Italian fare. It has 116 seats.
Cadillac Diner accommodates 70 indoors and 36 outdoors and is open 24 hours a day, with quirky Cadillac seats and a video jukebox. It’s for fast food; with hamburgers and hot dogs, fish and chips, pot pies, and wok dishes.
A Moderno Churrascarria (Brazilian steakhouse for meat delivered on a skewer by service staff dressed ‘gaucho’ style) was added in the 2013 refit, as was Cagney’s Steak House - for prime American steaks and grilled seafood. A cover charge applies to both venues and reservations are required.
Aloha Café/Kids Café is an indoor/outdoor self-serve buffet-style eatery with a Hawaiian theme. A special section for children has counter tops at just the right height, as well as chairs and tables that have been shrunk to a child-friendly size.
Other eateries and bars include the Napa Wine Bar (wines by the glass), Pink’s Champagne and Cigar Bar (inspired by Hawaii’s Pink Palace Hotel on Waikiki Beach), the Gold Rush saloon (pub with karaoke, plus a darts board and bar billiards), and a John Adams Coffee Bar. Outdoor eateries and drinking places include the Key West Bar and Grill, and the Waikiki Bar.
Entertainment. The Hollywood Theater seats 840 and stages large-scale production shows and local Hawaiian shows. A 590-seat cabaret lounge, the Mardi Gras Lounge, has cabaret entertainment, including late-night comedy.
Spa/Fitness. The Santa Fe Spa and Fitness Center, decorated with artefacts from New Mexico, is designed to be a tranquil center for mind and body. It is staffed and operated by Mandara Spa (originating in Bali, now headquartered in Hawaii, but owned by Steiner Leisure), and includes Ayurvedic-style treatments.
While some fitness classes are free, others - such as yoga, and kick-boxing - usually cost extra. Massage facials, pedicures, and beauty salon treatments also cost extra.