While on board NCL’s Pride of America to Hawaii last week I was able to check out the new enhancements. I thought the vessel was in excellent shape. No where did the ship look worn to me and it was kept immaculately clean. The beds in the cabins are so comfortable I looked forward to going to bed at night. I’m tempted to Email the hotel director of the ship to find out what beds/products they use so I can put it in my own bedroom! Some of the enhancements added earlier in this year were:
• 24 ultra-luxurious suites, 4 inside cabins, and 4 studios (which I’ll speak too in a different post)
• Specialty restaurant Moderno Churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse)
• Ship wide wireless internet connectivity
• New carpeting throughout
• Flat screen televisions in all staterooms
• Renovations to the gift shop, photo gallery, art gallery, fitness center, and more
One of my favorite areas on the whole ship was in the aft behind the newly added Moderno Churrascaria. This outdoor covered lounge type area was absolutely perfect to have a drink, enjoy some conversation, and watch Hawaii sail by. There is never a bad sunset in Hawaii and watching it from this location on the ship made it extra special. See the pictures below.
Now, let’s talk about the food. As with any cruise, there are many choices throughout, room service, buffet, dining rooms, specialty dining, etc. Overall, I was incredibly pleased with the selection and quality. We ordered room service once, used the buffet many times, specialty dining twice, and main dining room four times. The entire week there were only two items I was not satisfied with. They both occurred in the main dining room. I thought everything else, especially the buffet, was exceptional. One example, the ribs the first day in the buffet fell off the bone and were perfectly seasoned. NCL has worked hard to bring their food and service up on this ship and I’m pleased to say they have been quite successful.
At home I like to get my day off to a healthy start with a kale/spinach smoothie. I was worried how I was going to get my greens on the cruise for breakfast. Well, this is not a problem on the Pride of America! At the buffet they had a juicer I could bring my own ingredients too. So, I grabbed a plate full of spinach (spinach found in the omelet line) and added pineapple and peach each morning for a delicious healthy start. There is a small charge for them to juice for you, $2.50 for a small and $3.50 for a large.
We ate at two of the specialty dining restaurants; Teppanaki and La Cucina. Teppanaki is the most popular specialty restaurant so if you want to dine here, be sure to make your reservations early. It’s an entertaining way to eat so if you are into that sort of thing, go for it! The food and entertainment were great. I am gluten free so I really put La Cucina (Italian) to the test which I will go into more detail in a different blog post. I heard many comments on how exceptional ‘Cagney’s Steakhouse’ was. I hope to try that restaurant on my next NCL cruise. Please see below for the menu for Teppanaki.
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Dominique Barba, CTC, ECC