What Makes A Pride of America Cruise An Easy Way To See Hawaii


Believe it or not, planning that big Hawaii trip doesn’t have to be stressful. Yet there is a lot to consider when budgeting a multi-island visit, especially for first-timers and less frequent travelers. While beachfront Hawaii resorts are appealing, the price tag that comes along with such a getaway often induces its own level of stress. Then there’s having to decide which island to visit. Sunseekers may prefer beach getaways on Oahu or Maui, while outdoor adventurists may prefer the rugged beauty of Kauai or the Big Island.

One of the ways to really enjoy what multiple islands have to offer is to take the all-inclusive approach and hop on a ship. There are two types of Hawaii cruises: those that embark from the mainland, often departing from California, which then entail several days at sea before reaching Hawaii; and round-trip cruises from Honolulu that sail exclusively throughout the islands.

You’ll find Hawaii cruises from most of the major companies and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is no different. The cruise line’s ship, Pride of America, is dedicated to sailing the Hawaii islands all year long. Curious about this way of experiencing Hawaii? Keep reading for nine things to know before booking a Hawaii cruise with Norwegian.

Fly into Oahu a day early and stay a day late

While this particular Hawaii cruise offers immersive long days in port, Honolulu is the start and end point of the voyage. That means guests will want to fly in a few days early or stay a little after their sailing to truly maximize their visit on the island of Oahu. The Honolulu cruise port is just under three miles from hotels along Waikiki Beach, which is an ideal base for exploring the local area on foot.

The onboard culture is different than many other ships

Avid cruisers know most ships are populated by a crew whose origins span the globe. However, Norwegian’s Pride of America is a U.S.-flagged ship, which means it operates with a crew that must be at least 75 percent American. While guests can expect the same level of service NCL is known for among its fleet, this ship does come with perhaps a few other surprises.

What often catches guests off guard is the lack of a casino at sea. That’s in line with the cruise ship operating exclusively in U.S. waters. This is also the reason behind a lack of duty-free shopping aboard Pride of America. Since Pride of America never enters international waters, neither a casino or duty free-store is legal. However, guests aboard Pride of America will still find plenty of unique shopping opportunities, as the ship focuses on offering more localized, Hawaii-centric products.

Plan for Hawaii weather

When you’re daydreaming about a Hawaiian cruise, it’s easy to imagine an endless string of hot sunny days spent along the ocean or constant sunning on the beach. While Hawaii offers year-round sunshine, the reality is the islands also have their fair share of rainfall. Pack an umbrella or rain jacket in preparation for wet days. When the sunny days do come, be sure to use sunscreen that’s been graded as safe for coral reefs in order to help protect the state’s natural gifts. You can find plenty of options for sale online that are listed as reef safe.

It’s also important to note the Napali Coast can often be less visible than desired, thanks to fog along the north shore. Rest assured, the ship’s captain will stay in this prime focal point for as long as possible, hoping the weather clears for a magnificent view of this natural beauty.

A round-trip Hawaii cruise involves little down time

On just about every cruise itinerary around the world, guests can expect at least one sea day wherein no port is visited. That’s not the case with a round-trip Hawaii cruise aboard Pride of America. Every NCL cruise in Hawaii starts and ends in Honolulu, with the seven-day voyage spending two days on Maui, two days on the Big Island in the towns of Hilo and Kailua-Kona and two days on Kauai before exploring the famous Napali Coast. The intensive itinerary is wonderful for island immersion, particularly on overnight visits where guests can stay out as late as desired.

What that also means, though, is that with the lack of sea days, guests must carve out their own downtime by choosing their own pacing and deciding when to visit the pool, take a nap on the sun deck or explore the ship’s amenities.

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Source: Chron


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