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PRIDE OF AMERICA; Studio cabins & Studio Lounge


farmersfight
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When cruising resumes (for me, after a safe & effective covid 19 vaccine), I am considering doing a B2B on the Pride of America (PoA) as a solo cruiser. Has anyone cruised solo on the PoA and stayed in a studio cabin? If yes, what was the experience like? Also, is there a real studio lounge on PoA or is it just a room with 4 chairs, a few tables and a flat screen TV?

 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Edited by farmersfight
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I stayed in studio in May 2018. The setup is the same as other ships but the lounge is almost nonexistent. It is just a room with 4 chairs couple tables. Not much. There is a pot of coffee in morning with pastries and cookies in afternoon. Hope this helps. Debbie 

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1 hour ago, Deb and Jack said:

I stayed in studio in May 2018. The setup is the same as other ships but the lounge is almost nonexistent. It is just a room with 4 chairs couple tables. Not much. There is a pot of coffee in morning with pastries and cookies in afternoon. Hope this helps. Debbie 

 

Thanks Debbie. That's what I suspected about the "studio lounge" on PoA. I read it on a review here on CC from a solo cruiser who stayed in a studio on PoA. Also from what I read, there are only 4 studio cabins on PoA! And, each cabin has a door that opens into the so-called studio lounge.

 

I give NCL major credit for being solo friendly with their bigger/newer ships (BA/BA+ class) with many more studio cabins (3 decks high up forward in their own exclusive area), nice studio lounges (some with full service bar), and assigned ship staffer to attend to solos (make dinner/show reservations, etc).

 

With that said, my impression is that NCL came up short on their "solo friendliness" on the PoA. Only 4 studio cabins and an almost nonexistent studio lounge. During the last refurb, NCL should've put more studio cabins in and upgraded the room with 4 chairs, couple of tables and a flat screen TV into an actual studio lounge (w/full bar preferably), imo.

 

Oh well, still not a deal breaker for me. I'm still considering a B2B on PoA. Imo, an excellent way to visit the Hawaiian Islands where your hotel goes with you and you only have to unpack once!

 

Thanks again.

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11 hours ago, Deb and Jack said:

The POA is just a floating hotel. There isn't much of anything on board. You are off more than most cruises. It's a completely different experience but not the typical solo program that NCL offers. 

 

Yeah, I hear you (actually, I read you, lol). I was considering trying to get a regular balcony cabin on PoA but after thinking about it, I asked myself - why? Ship is only underway (cruising) mainly at night and is in port each day (except she does do a little cruising during the day off the Napali Coast, as I understand it). Can't see anything from a balcony at night. That's why I was leaning toward trying my first solo cabin. Then, after researching the PoA, I found out that she had only 4 studio cabins and had that "almost nonexistent" studio lounge.. So, it is making me kind of reconsider...

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12 hours ago, Deb and Jack said:

The POA is just a floating hotel. There isn't much of anything on board. You are off more than most cruises. It's a completely different experience but not the typical solo program that NCL offers. 

 

Oh, and I have never been to the Hawaiian Islands and I want to do longer cruises (12+ nighters), so that is why I was considering a B2B (14 nights) on the PoA. The cruise being so port-intensive would be just fine with me since, like I said, I have never been to any of the Hawaiian Islands (ports). On the 2nd round trip of the B2B, I was just do a different excursion on the island/in the port I had already been to on the 1st round trip. So, I would definitely get to see a lot on each of the islands that the ship stops at. Plus, I like the idea of the 2 over-nighters the ship does at 2 different islands. I definitely agree with you, the ship would serve as my floating hotel - that moves and takes me to multiple Hawaiian Islands (ports). Only have to unpack once. How great is that?

Edited by farmersfight
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I did 3 days in Oahu before cruise, the whole experience was amazing. Yes more to do at each port than time allows so you could easily do totally different things at each stop. The overnights are amazing, see sites at night is definitely a plus. I would take a regular inside cabin as there are only 4 studios and they sell out. Plenty of outdoor space on ship to enjoy views. 

A positive for the studio is location. Very top forward with the suites. Nice side door out to a small sundeck overlooking pool and sights. Right around corner from elevator. Was my favorite spot for early morning coffee 

Edited by Deb and Jack
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When in doubt, check YouTube! I found this Studio cabin tour video of a PoA Studio cabin, which includes a tour of the lounge. Yeah, it's small but with only 4 Studio cabins, it's big enough for everyone...

 

But hey, it's Hawaii. You'll be spending your time onshore or on deck, right?

 

Back in the Old Days, NCL frequently offered Solo Cruiser discounts on PoA cruises. Hopefully they'll return, as will the NCL website search filter to display those discounted sailings. Sigh. Looking at PoA cruises in late 2021, I see that about half the sailings include a lower single supplement albeit not much lower (75% to 90% instead of 100%).

Edited by coastcat
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8 hours ago, coastcat said:

When in doubt, check YouTube! I found this Studio cabin tour video of a PoA Studio cabin, which includes a tour of the lounge. Yeah, it's small but with only 4 Studio cabins, it's big enough for everyone...

 

But hey, it's Hawaii. You'll be spending your time onshore or on deck, right?

 

Back in the Old Days, NCL frequently offered Solo Cruiser discounts on PoA cruises. Hopefully they'll return, as will the NCL website search filter to display those discounted sailings. Sigh. Looking at PoA cruises in late 2021, I see that about half the sailings include a lower single supplement albeit not much lower (75% to 90% instead of 100%).

 

Thanks coastcat! Yeah, I think I remember looking at those solo cruiser discount filters on NCL's website. Interesting that NCL frequently offered solo cruiser discounts on PoA cruises, back in the old days (wish they would've kept them). Thanks for sharing what you found looking at PoA cruises in late 2021 and finding sailings with a reduced single supplement. I agree with you, 75% to 90% isn't much lower - in my mind, my maximum will be 50% but preferably 25% or lower.

 

I'm on board with you (no pun intended...o.k., actually, pun intended) wrt YouTube. I've probably looked at the exact same video tours of the studio cabins on PoA that you looked at. I'm dismayed that PoA only has 4 of these and also dismayed at what NCL is calling a "studio lounge" on PoA (basically 4 chairs, a couple of tables and a flat screen TV in a room). NCL really came up short with the # of studio cabins and the studio lounge on PoA, especially compared to their larger/newer ships (BA, BA+ class). When I began focusing in on doing a B2B on PoA to really see Hawaii, I was thinking a balcony cabin w/solo supplement. But then I thought, why? - ship pretty much only sails at night so what can see from your balcony at night? As you said, I will be spending most of my time onshore or on deck. That's why I switched to looking at PoA's studio cabins - but then I learned about how few (4) there were on PoA and the state of the so-called "studio lounge".

 

Have you used the Cruiseplum website? Very effective website for solos to search for low/no solo supplements (25% or less) and also, just great deals for 1 person without regard to the solo supplement (many times, the total out of pocket cost will be lower). Also, Cruiseplum has a great search engine with a lot of filters where you can really zero in on the cruise you are looking for (i.e. filter by length of cruise, cruise line/cruise ship, region - like, Hawaii, time of year, etc). I used the search engine to look at PoA cruises for 1 person and I found the cruises were very expensive (these must have been with 100% solo supplements). The cruises were $800+ per day for a balcony cabin! Ouch. Man, a B2B with those prices would break my bank!

 

I think I just had an epiphany this morning: just use Cruiseplum and find the best deal for 1 person with or without regard to the solo supplement. Check this out: I saw a 12 day (my minimum length of cruise I want to book) cruise on RCL's Harmony OTS in April 2021, sailing from Port Canaveral to Barcelona, Spain. It has only 1 port stop (Malaga, Spain) so this cruise is a pure repositioning. A transatlantic with 10 days at sea! I'm very interested in cruising on one of RCL's Oasis class ships. They are humongous and they are practically "floating cities", imo. No other ships have interior balcony cabins (overlooking the ship's central park or boardwalk zones). Anyway, the price for this 12 day cruise was around $1800 or about $150/day for an ocean view balcony cabin! If cruising was back to normal, I think I'd "pull the trigger" on this cruise. With 10 days at sea and only 1 port stop (probably to refuel the ship), I would definitely have lots of time to fully explore this behemoth and also spend much quality time (with an "adult beverage" of course) on my own personal balcony. If you haven't already, I highly recommend you check out cruiseplum.com.

 

Terribly sorry, I've rambled on and on and have posted a small novel. I have the habit of doing this sometimes (hope I didn't put you to sleep, lol). Again, thanks for your great reply and I look forward to "chatting" with you again here on CC, especially here in the solo cruising forum. Take care.

Edited by farmersfight
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  • 4 weeks later...

I did the POA 2 years ago Halloween week. I was watching it for price and got single fare for $999 3 weeks out for an inside cabin. I bided and got an ocean view which was a complete waste of money since you are pretty much only in your room when it’s dark out.

We had a small meetup in a bar which basically only had about 3 people show up. 
 

If you are not interested in visiting during whale season or the summer, seems like fall has the best chance of reasonable prices. 

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12 hours ago, kelib said:

I did the POA 2 years ago Halloween week. I was watching it for price and got single fare for $999 3 weeks out for an inside cabin. I bided and got an ocean view which was a complete waste of money since you are pretty much only in your room when it’s dark out.

We had a small meetup in a bar which basically only had about 3 people show up. 
 

If you are not interested in visiting during whale season or the summer, seems like fall has the best chance of reasonable prices. 

 

Thanks @kelib. Yeah, the POA is definitely a pricey cruise. I wouldn't even call it a "cruise"...more like a floating hotel that moves from port to port at night. But, that definitely has it's advantages...having your hotel move with you - only have to unpack/pack once.

 

With your $999 inside cabin fare, what was your solo supplement (%)? I totally agree with you, upgrading to an OV would be a complete waste of money since the ship is only sailing at night (hard to view the ocean in the dark, lol). Same thing would be true for a balcony and would be an even more waste of money.

 

When cruising resumes, I'm sure NCL won't be offering any solo supplement discounts because the demand will be so high (they won't have to offer any discounts plus they need $$ bad after the long shutdown).

 

I find it kind of ridiculous that the POA only has 4 studio cabins with a joke (4 charis & a table?) of a studio lounge. Why bother NCL?

 

I'm still interested in booking the POA because I have never been to Hawaii and I think the POA would be a great way to go because of the floating/moving hotel thing. Per your advice, I'd go for an inside (with solo supplement discount hopefully but now not likely) since I'll be in port and off the ship pretty much every day.

 

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience on POA. Take care.

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4 hours ago, farmersfight said:

 

Thanks @kelib. Yeah, the POA is definitely a pricey cruise. I wouldn't even call it a "cruise"...more like a floating hotel that moves from port to port at night. But, that definitely has it's advantages...having your hotel move with you - only have to unpack/pack once.

 

With your $999 inside cabin fare, what was your solo supplement (%)? I totally agree with you, upgrading to an OV would be a complete waste of money since the ship is only sailing at night (hard to view the ocean in the dark, lol). Same thing would be true for a balcony and would be an even more waste of money.

 

When cruising resumes, I'm sure NCL won't be offering any solo supplement discounts because the demand will be so high (they won't have to offer any discounts plus they need $$ bad after the long shutdown).

 

I find it kind of ridiculous that the POA only has 4 studio cabins with a joke (4 charis & a table?) of a studio lounge. Why bother NCL?

 

I'm still interested in booking the POA because I have never been to Hawaii and I think the POA would be a great way to go because of the floating/moving hotel thing. Per your advice, I'd go for an inside (with solo supplement discount hopefully but now not likely) since I'll be in port and off the ship pretty much every day.

 

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience on POA. Take care.

The $999 was no single supplement fare, which was the least expensive I had seen in on and off tracking for a few years. My airfare cost me more but I did go for the upgrade. 

The ship is older than most ships out there, so trying to carve out too many solo rooms in the existing ship would have been hard. 
The experience on the ship is really different than normal cruises. The main thing is that most of the crew are from the US and it’d territories. My steward was from Guam . They needed to adhere to labor laws and could only work so many hours in a day or got overtime. They have a third party team that comes on board to do the ships turnaround and luggage delivery. Also you do not go through security on the ship but on land by Hawaii state officials, it took a few days to realize that they did not care if you brought a bottle of water on board.

i went prior to them allowing a drink package, and the drinks were more expensive, also no casino . 

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2 hours ago, kelib said:

The $999 was no single supplement fare, which was the least expensive I had seen in on and off tracking for a few years. My airfare cost me more but I did go for the upgrade. 

The ship is older than most ships out there, so trying to carve out too many solo rooms in the existing ship would have been hard. 
The experience on the ship is really different than normal cruises. The main thing is that most of the crew are from the US and it’d territories. My steward was from Guam . They needed to adhere to labor laws and could only work so many hours in a day or got overtime. They have a third party team that comes on board to do the ships turnaround and luggage delivery. Also you do not go through security on the ship but on land by Hawaii state officials, it took a few days to realize that they did not care if you brought a bottle of water on board.

i went prior to them allowing a drink package, and the drinks were more expensive, also no casino . 

 

Wow, a regular inside cabin (for $999) with no solo supplement, that's great. I'm afraid we won't be seeing deals like that for the foreseeable future. As I understand it, the POA was originally being built in a U.S. shipyard (New Orleans, I think) for a start up U.S. company that didn't even make it off the ground. The ship was partially completed (basically the hull) and then NCL bought the hull and towed it over to a European shipyard for completion. Probably back when the ship was being finished, the studio cabin & studio lounge concept was probably just starting out by NCL. That's probably why NCL only started out "dipping their toes" in the studio cabin/lounge market and only did a whopping 4 studio cabins and a so-called studio lounge on POA.

 

Like most of the POA crew members, I am also a U.S. merchant mariner so I am somewhat familiar with the U.S. labor laws. It gets even more interesting when unions are involved. I'm thinking the POA cruises are expensive because of the increased labor costs of her crew. Us U.S. merchant mariners like our generous pay, lol.

 

I'm just glad the U.S. has at least one full size U.S. flag passenger ship. That's another reason I would like to sail on her. Yeah, I figured no casino on board. O.k. with me since I refuse to throw my $$ away in a ship's casino anyway, so I won't miss it.

 

Anyway, thanks again. Take care.

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