Brief Pride of America Review

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#1
New York, NY, USA
320 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
I had the pleasure of an inspection and luncheon on the Pride of America today. After having sailed on the Aloha last August I got the impression that the staffing problems have been addressed. Also, the Lido Buffet areas bothe inside and outside are substantially larger than on the Aloha and much more tastefully decorated. This will improve the overall dining experience. Iwas unable to accept their invitation for the overnight due to a prior appointment am am lo0oking forward to reading reports from those that sailed overnight.
Anyway, if you have questions, I will try to answer them with the limited knowledge of having been onboard for only a few hours but will try my best!
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52 cruises!!! First Cruise: Olympia - April 1971. A few recent cruises:
Carnival Triumph - June 2002;Norwegian Dawn - May 2003;Zuiderdam - August 2003;Queen Mary 2 - May 2004;Pride of Aloha - August 2004;Voyager of the Seas - February 2005;Norwegian Dawn - October 2005;Norwegian Spirit - November 2005;Millennium - December 2005; Millennium - July 2006; Norwegian Dawn - October 2006; Carnival Legend - October 2006;Freedom of the Seas - February 2007; Queen Mary 2 - May 2007; Tahitian Princess - July 2007; Norwegian Dawn - September 2007; Carnival Miracle -October 2007; Norwegian Gem - December 2007; Century -January 2008; Oosterdam - February 2008; Queen Victoria - August 2008; Eurodam - August 2008; Eurodam - October 2008; Ruby Princess - November 2008; Star Princess - December 2008; Queen Mary 2 - April 2009; Norwegian Dawn - April 2009; Caribbean Princess - May 2010; Several More Since and a few More in the Pipeline!
#3
Nashville, TN, USA
542 Posts
Joined May 2002
Louchamp, is it the fact that they have more staffing or the fact that they are better trained that you are talking about? Also, based on the design of the ship, do you feel that freestyle will work better on this ship than on Pride of Aloha? Did you see any of the cabins, and if so, how were they in terms of size and amenities.
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Carnival Destiny 6/97, 10/01
Voyager of the Seas 12/99
Majesty of the Seas 2/02
Carnival Spirit 7/02
Radiance of the Seas 12/02
Disney Wonder 1/03
Carnival Pride 7/03
Adventure of the Seas 7/04
Pride of Aloha 8/04
Jewel of the Seas 1/05
Sapphire Princess 11/05
Freedom of the Seas 8/06
Carnival Valor 8/07
Carnival Freedom 10/07
#4
20,069 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by dalwhitt
Louchamp, is it the fact that they have more staffing or the fact that they are better trained that you are talking about? Also, based on the design of the ship, do you feel that freestyle will work better on this ship than on Pride of Aloha? Did you see any of the cabins, and if so, how were they in terms of size and amenities.
smeyer was onboard as well and posted a link to some pictures of the cabins and other parts of the ship he took.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=192624
#5
Boca Raton, Florida
3,171 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by LouChamp
I got the impression that the staffing problems have been addressed.
How so? You weren't really on a cruise...
#6
New York, NY, USA
320 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
To answer a few questions posed I get the feeling that the staff was better trained and more professional. I course, as stated, I was not really on a cruise but it was just a feeling which I hope is a correct feeling. I was also told they were fully staffed as opposed to being understaffed.
Dalwhitt...it is a pleasure to see you post again. I remember you sailed either end of July or beginning of August last year. We were on the August 15 sailing. Hope all is well with you and yours.
All the best everyone
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52 cruises!!! First Cruise: Olympia - April 1971. A few recent cruises:
Carnival Triumph - June 2002;Norwegian Dawn - May 2003;Zuiderdam - August 2003;Queen Mary 2 - May 2004;Pride of Aloha - August 2004;Voyager of the Seas - February 2005;Norwegian Dawn - October 2005;Norwegian Spirit - November 2005;Millennium - December 2005; Millennium - July 2006; Norwegian Dawn - October 2006; Carnival Legend - October 2006;Freedom of the Seas - February 2007; Queen Mary 2 - May 2007; Tahitian Princess - July 2007; Norwegian Dawn - September 2007; Carnival Miracle -October 2007; Norwegian Gem - December 2007; Century -January 2008; Oosterdam - February 2008; Queen Victoria - August 2008; Eurodam - August 2008; Eurodam - October 2008; Ruby Princess - November 2008; Star Princess - December 2008; Queen Mary 2 - April 2009; Norwegian Dawn - April 2009; Caribbean Princess - May 2010; Several More Since and a few More in the Pipeline!
#7
77 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Just returned for POA lunch and over night. While some may have negative comments about the exterior colors and design, the ship itself is very attractive and well designed for Hawaii with many dining options. We spoke with some of the staff about their training experience and this intensive program should alleviate problems that happened on the Pride of Aloha. Communication is a BIG plus. While I truly enjoy a multi-cultural crew, one languge facilitates service.

We toured some of the staterooms, and yes, the top-priced cabins were beautiful. The bathroom with deep tub filled with floating petals was a nice touch, loved the HUGE shower, and walk-in closet with vanity table. Oh, a TV in the bathroom.

We had a stateroom 10566 - on deck ten. I expected a larger room, but it worked for us. The colors were very bright and tropical, nice Hawiian pictures on the walls. There was a king bed that could be make up as twins, small love seat, mini coffee table, two tiny bed side tables with storage. One closet, drawers and open cabinets for storage, a small desk with blow dryer. Compact refrigerator next to the vanity. The room had a balcony with two lounge chairs and a small table.

I tried to use my hair dryer, but was unable to plug it in because my GFI plug/pack was too large and didn't clear the vanity top. Also, ladies, the lighting is not good for applying make-up. The bathrooms remind me of the "old" RCCL ships - very compact. The showers were so small. There is storage behind one glass panel above the sink.

The public rooms reflect an American theme with a Hawaiian flair. The main lobby is by far one of the nicest I've seen. The reception desk spans one central wall, there are ample seats for passengers to relax, John Adam Coffee Bar is to the side. The central staircase leads to the Pink Champagn & Cigar Bar. In the evening a few cigar smokers were puffing, and the smell of cigars was a bit overwhelming. Thomas Jefferson Bistro was an elegant dining option, East Meets West had a true Asian feel, the Steak House was a bit tacky in decor with its plastic cacti, but offered tradition beef selections. Little Italy has a limited Italian menu. The main dining room is two stories with a curved stair case. The upper level is Victorian in decor, while the lower level is Manhattan's skyline. The Aloha Cafe is a colorful casual dining experience, with deli, grille, hot & cold stations, pizza, soups, fruit bar, and dessert bar. The Cadillac Diner reminded me of "Happy Days." A nice touch is the outdoor Cafe at the rear of the ship, beyond the Aloah Cafe. There are multiple food stations to quickly more passengers through breakfast and lunch. Some areas were not set up this weekend and are still in the process of being finished & provisioned. We dined at Little Italy, and when we [7 of us] asked for a pasta dish for the table to share, our waiter went searching for some type of pasta.

There's an NCL Logo , Hawaiin gift & clothing , and great Calloway golf shop.

The Gold Rush Bar was very interesting, unique decor, artifacts & pictures, and two real dart boards for passenger use in a safe corner! This is also the "sports bar" with multiple TV's. The Mardi Gras lounge was decorated in purple, gold, aqua, orange & lime. The Hollywood Theatre was one level, no obstructed views. I expected larger pools, but this ship is heading to Hawaii, though there are multiple hot tubs beside the pools. The ship has a small chapel, too.

There were areas we couldn't explore, though I managed to slip under a few roped off areas. Due to K & R being on the ship this week, parts of the aft deck area near the children's and teen areas were blocked with boxes of TV equipment.

The naming ceremony was quite moving. In the evening, we sailed out of the harbor, turned around and watched a fireworks display in honor of the first and largest US ship in 50 years, Pride of America.

The evening included a late-night deck party.

Darcy
#10
Nashville, TN, USA
542 Posts
Joined May 2002
Originally posted by LouChamp
Dalwhitt...it is a pleasure to see you post again. I remember you sailed either end of July or beginning of August last year. We were on the August 15 sailing. Hope all is well with you and yours.
All the best everyone
LouChamp, thanks for the kind words. Family is doing well, but we have been on only one cruise since Aug. 8 cruise on Pride of Aloha. We are scheduled for Sapphire Princess in November and Freedom of the Seas August 2006. We'll play it by ear after that. Pride of America sounds like a beautiful ship. Looks like they have ironed out the kinks ... with of course the normal problems you will find on any new ship.
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Carnival Destiny 6/97, 10/01
Voyager of the Seas 12/99
Majesty of the Seas 2/02
Carnival Spirit 7/02
Radiance of the Seas 12/02
Disney Wonder 1/03
Carnival Pride 7/03
Adventure of the Seas 7/04
Pride of Aloha 8/04
Jewel of the Seas 1/05
Sapphire Princess 11/05
Freedom of the Seas 8/06
Carnival Valor 8/07
Carnival Freedom 10/07
#11
48 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Great review! Around 3PM or so yesterday, I was driving up the West Side Highway to the Upper West Side and for once was delighted to get caught in the usual 10-minute traffic delay near 50th St.! I got a great glimpse of the POA from the road, and was wishing like crazy I was on it!

Around midnight, I was driving back down the West Side Hwy., and saw her at night. (Looked like the party was still goin' strong! ) What a beautiful sight with the "string of pearls" in light across the deck. It lit up the harbour. When I told the person in passenger seat what was ahead, she responded that she thought it was a huge building!

Just curious - how did you guys manage to get on the ship? Were there tickets sold, some sort of lottery, etc.?
#12
Vernon, Ct USA
146 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
My wife and I were on for the day. The ship is one of the nicest we have seen as far as interiors.
The American theme is very well done. The lobby with the US seal and decor was a tribute to our country.
The staff was great. We both agreed the service was on a par with the international crews.
The food was excellent and well presented. We talked to new NCLA employees ( less than 6 months) and Transfers from the Aloha. Very positive attitude and pride in their work and the ship.
We also talked witb a senoir Coast Guard Captain. It sounds like US Flagged vessels have to meet very high standards.
It was awesome seeing the stars and stripes raised on the mast.
To answer how people got on:
We were on because I presented 2 models of the Prideof America and United States to the Captain.
Many people were travel professionals for a ship's introduction. It is typical for the cruise lines to bring travel agents on for one or two day cruises on the new ships.
The last group would be assorted V.I.P.'s.
I took alot of photos and will try to post in a couple of days.
#13
Washington State
2,066 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Thanks for the info, LouChamp.
It looked like a beautiful day!


Wolfpup,
was Jefferson's Bistro open during your overnight? If so, did you hear any comments on this restaurant? Thanks
#14
77 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Yes, the Bistro was open, but a large section was reserved for a private function. The menu looked great and there was a nice variety of selections, with an option to upgrade......for an added cost. We were invited to a private cocktail party at 6:30, so by the time we staggered out, it was close to 8: and many of the smaller dining spots were filled. We tried to get into the steak house, but it, too, was booked for a private party. In hind sight, we should have gone to the main dining room.
The wait staff was very attentive.

Darcy
#15
Elmwood Park, NJ, USA
369 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Just wanted to say hello. The America really looks nice. Maybe we should have waited a year. Say hi to Mrs. LouChamp and Little Miss LouChamp.

Maryann
#16
New York, NY, USA
320 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Hi Maryann!
Great to hear from you. Hope all is well. Being on the America brought back fond memories of our cruise and the pleasure of meeting you and yours and some great fellow cc's.
All the best
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52 cruises!!! First Cruise: Olympia - April 1971. A few recent cruises:
Carnival Triumph - June 2002;Norwegian Dawn - May 2003;Zuiderdam - August 2003;Queen Mary 2 - May 2004;Pride of Aloha - August 2004;Voyager of the Seas - February 2005;Norwegian Dawn - October 2005;Norwegian Spirit - November 2005;Millennium - December 2005; Millennium - July 2006; Norwegian Dawn - October 2006; Carnival Legend - October 2006;Freedom of the Seas - February 2007; Queen Mary 2 - May 2007; Tahitian Princess - July 2007; Norwegian Dawn - September 2007; Carnival Miracle -October 2007; Norwegian Gem - December 2007; Century -January 2008; Oosterdam - February 2008; Queen Victoria - August 2008; Eurodam - August 2008; Eurodam - October 2008; Ruby Princess - November 2008; Star Princess - December 2008; Queen Mary 2 - April 2009; Norwegian Dawn - April 2009; Caribbean Princess - May 2010; Several More Since and a few More in the Pipeline!