Pride of America Ship Review
Launched in 2005, NCL’s 81,000-ton, 2,146-guest Pride of America lives up to her name with an interior that’s a celebration of all things American, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. She’s also the only large cruise ship on the planet crewed pretty much entirely by Americans, a distinction that puts her in compliance with U.S. cabotage laws, and thus able to sail itineraries comprised wholly of U.S. ports—in Pride’s case Hawaiian ports, among which the vessel sails year-round.
Public Rooms & Entertainment On Pride of America
Design-wise, Pride of America would really look more at home sailing within the bounds of the continental U.S. than in sunny Hawaii. Passengers step aboard into the Capitol Atrium, designed to resemble the U.S. Capitol, with sweeping staircases framing a model of the Washington Monument. From there, any direction you take will bring you to another bit of Americana, from the John Adams Coffee Bar (why? did he particularly like coffee?) to the SS America Library (themed on the old steamship of that name) to the Liberty Restaurant, with its stars-and-stripes carpeting, American-eagle-themed glass ceiling, and statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Due to Hawaiian law, there’s no casino on board, but there are drinking spots aplenty, including:
- The Gold Rush Saloon, with its prospector decor
- The Napa Wine Bar, an elegant space with a Napa-inspired decor and outdoor seating along the Promenade Deck.
- Pink’s, a centrally located champagne and cigar bar
- The Lanai Bar & Lounge, an intimate bar way up on Deck 13
- The outdoor, stern-view Waikiki Bar, also on Deck 13
- The Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge & Nightclub, for small-scale entertainment
- The Key West Bar & Grill and Ocean Drive Bar, both looking out over the South Beach Pool
Pools & Fitness On Pride Of America
The pool deck has two main pools and four hot tubs. One deck up there’s a small bungee trampoline and a crazy gyroscope ride that allows strapped-in passengers to rotate in any direction, like astronauts in zero-G. Deck 12 is also home to the Santa Fe Spa & Fitness Center with its treatment rooms, salon, gym, and quiet outdoor Oasis Pool. Toward midships, kids have the run of the place at the Rascal’s Kids Club, with its large play space, movie room, computer terminals, indoor jungle gym, and outdoor splash pool with tube slide. A separate teen center is right next door.
Dining On Pride Of America
At dinnertime, guests can choose among 10 different restaurants:
- Two main restaurants, the Manhattan-themed Skyline Restaurant and the ultra-Americana Liberty Restaurant
- The Lazy J Texas Steakhouse, with waiters dressed in cowboy hats
- Jefferson’s Bistro, an elegant French restaurant designed like Jeffereson’s Monticello home
- The Little Italy Italian restaurant
- The Pan-Asian East Meets West restaurant
- A sushi/sashimi bar
- A teppanyaki room, where chefs prepare your meal at a tableside grill, Japanese style
- The 50s-themed Cadillac Diner, serving burgers, shakes, and other comfort food 24 hours a day, with seating indoors or on the Promenade Deck
- The Aloha Cafe buffet restaurant
Staterooms & Suites On Pride Of America
Staterooms on Pride of America are attractively styled but small. Oceanview cabins measure only 144 square feet and most balcony cabins measure only 178 square feet, and storage space is limited. Each is done up in vibrant Hawaiian colors with wooden accents, and offer a small sitting area and an adequately sized bathroom.
Suites come in seven different layouts, ranging from the 335-square-foot two-bedroom Family Suite with its separate living room and large balcony, to the Deluxe Owner’s Suite on Deck 12, with its separate bedroom and living/dining room, enormous bathroom with whirlpool tub and separate shower, and huge balcony with dining area and Jacuzzi.
Note for businesses: Pride of America offers one of the largest dedicated meeting spaces at sea, with an auditorium and other spaces able to accommodate up to 550 people.