Pride of America Photo Tour

Norwegian Cruise Lines' Pride of America docked in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 3, 2011. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Launched in 2005, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America has a storied history that began long before she entered Honolulu harbour for the first time.  Her made-in-America hull was purchased by Norwegian after American Classic Voyages, for whom she was intended, went bankrupt in 2001.

In a creative bit of rule-bending, her hull was towed to Germany where she was completed in Germany by the able workers at the Lloyd Werft.  Because her initial hull was constructed in the United States, Norwegian received permission to register her in the United States, allowing her to complete closed-loop voyages that depart roundtrip Honolulu. Nearly every cruise ship is registered in a foreign country like Panama or the Bahamas, which would require them to call on a “distant foreign port” before returning to Honolulu; a tricky proposition at best, and impossible on a weeklong voyage.

Hull artwork adorns the side of Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Her entry into service was far from easy. But after a series of delays, growing pains and teething problems, Pride of America continues to ply the beautiful waters of the Pacific as she island-hops around Hawaii.  The kinks have been worked out, the service issues resolved. What remains is a ship that is surprisingly Hawaiian, and a tribute to the diversity of the United States.

While we were able to photograph most of Pride of America’s public areas, we weren’t able to acquire any shots of her passenger accommodations. Detailed descriptions of the staterooms and suites onboard can be found on the Norwegian Cruise Line website.

The NCL America logo onboard the Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders


The lowest entertainment deck aboard Pride of Aloha, Deck 5 is home to a number of lounges, public rooms and restaurants.  Let’s have a look!

Hollywood Theatre

The Hollywood Theatre was designed to reflect the glamour of its Los Angeles namesake. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Nightly stage shows are offered in the Hollywood Theatre, located all the way forward on Deck 5.  The room tapers downward slowly into Deck 4, and is refreshingly proportioned.

Pride of America's Hollywood Theatre takes a more intimate approach to nightly entertainment with its 1.5 level auditorium. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The Hollywood Theatre isn’t as large or towering as the multi-story theatres found on other ships this size, lending the room an uncommon amount of intimacy.  The bright color scheme comes alive at night, where up to 868 guests can relax and enjoy the show at any given time.

Newbury Street Shops

Satisfy your retail cravings at the New England-themed Newbury Street Shops. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Just aft of the Hollywood Theatre is Pride of America’s shopping arcade, known as the Newbury Street shops. Bright and airy, these shops carry everything from sundries and NCL Logo wear to high-end watches and jewelry.

John Adams Coffee Bar & Atrium

The John Adams Coffee Bar is situated on the starboard side of the atrium. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Moving aft still is the John Adams Coffee Bar, located on the starboard side of the ship adjacent to the sweeping atrium, which was inspired by the design and décor of the US White House. Reception, Shore Excursion, and Concierge desks are all located here.

Amble up to the bar and grab yourself an Americano! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The John Adams Coffee Bar can seat 55 guests and is designed to resemble parts of Colonial America. It’s also one heck of a cozy place to enjoy a delicious cappuccino or even one of the tasty Viennese pastries on offer.

The John Adams Coffee Bar is located adjacent to the Reception and Shore Excursion desks in the Capitol Atrium. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

East Meets West Asian Restaurant & Teppanyaki

On the port side of the Capitol Atrium is Norwegian Cruise Line’s popular Asian specialty restaurant duo, East Meets West and Teppanyaki.

Asian Fusion cuisine is on the menu at East Meets West. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Here, guests can dine on sumptuous Pacific Rim-fusion food, while the separate Teppanyaki room provides for a more interactive experience as meals are cooked directly in front of guests.

Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Get more interactive with your dining experience in the Teppanyaki room aboard Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

You'll want to have reservations for East Meets West - it's that popular! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

There is a surcharge for both – $15 per person for East Meets West and $25 per person to dine in the Teppanyaki room – but these two are well worth your time and money if you crave a more international experience.

Jefferson’s Bistro

Just aft of East Meets West lies Jefferson’s Bistro, Pride of America’s French-themed bistro that carries a $20 per guest surcharge.

French cuisine and American history collide at Jefferson's Bistro; you can't beat those comfortable booths! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The room takes its cuisine off of the popular Norwegian mainstay specialty restaurant, Le Bistro, and the décor is modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s home library in Monticello.

Walking from Jefferson's to the Skyline Main Restaurant, heading aft. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Skyline Main Dining Room

The Skyline Main Restaurant is modeled after an Art Deco New York City. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

All the way aft on Deck 5 is one of two complimentary main dining rooms aboard the Pride of America. With seating for 568, guests can enjoy a traditional, multi-course dining experience in this beautiful room, designed to resemble New York architecture at the height of the 1930’s building boom.

Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

There’s also a staircase located near the front of the Skyline dining room that connects it with its upstairs cousin on Deck 6: the Liberty Main Dining Room.

A staircase within the Skyline Restaurant takes passengers up to Deck 6... Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders


Liberty Main Dining Room

The Liberty Main Dining Room aboard Pride of America has a distinctly colonial flair. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Heading up the sweeping staircase from the Skyline Main Dining room located on Deck 5, we come to the beautifully-decorated Liberty Main Dining room, designed to resemble Colonial America. Healthy doses of Americana litter the room and include portraits and life-size statues of the founding fathers of the United States.

The Liberty Dining Room is the more formal of the two main dining rooms aboard Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

I’ve always thought this room looked a little…overboard… in photographs, but in person it works strikingly well. With seating for 418 guests, the Liberty Main Dining room is one of the formal dining venues aboard Pride of America.

Lazy J Steakhouse

The southwest-inspired Lazy J Steakhouse aboard Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Moving forward from the Liberty, we come to the Lazy J Steakhouse, one of Pride of America’s additional charge speciality restaurants. As one might guess, this dining venue serves up “The Best of Texas” in terms of cuisine and décor. Beef, lamb, chicken, veal and of course seafood are on the menu here.  119 guests can be accommodated at a single time, and dinner can be had here for $25 per person.

Napa Wine Bar

Inspired by the vineyards of California, the Napa Wine Bar is a comfortable place to chill out, enjoy a fine wine, and revel in the Hawaiian scenery. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The perfect complement to the nearby Lazy J Steakhouse, the Napa Wine Bar is done in wood with rough stone accents, and includes seating both indoors and outside on the adjacent promenade deck. Not only can you enjoy a fine glass of wine here, but wine tasting and other events are also held in this relaxing lounge.

Pink’s Champagne & Cigar Bar

Pink's Champagne Bar is refreshingly tropical, and, not surprisingly, quite pink! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Located just forward of the Capitol Atrium on Deck 6, Pink’s Champagne & Cigar Bar was inspired by Waikiki’s Pink Palace and, accordingly, is done in tropical shades of pink and white. Martini’s, cocktails and of course champagne are offered here each day, along with nightly piano entertainment and plenty of large windows so the Hawaiian coastline is never out of reach.

S. S. America Library

A lovely, and increasingly rare sight among large cruise ships: a beautiful, well-stocked library. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Names after the famous SS America, the SS America Library features memorabilia and artifacts from the historic United States Line ship.

The SS America Library pays tribute to the great American ocean liners of days gone by. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Done in tasteful dark woods and accented with a variety of nautical touches, the library is a quiet haven and the perfect spot to pull up one of the many great books available here, crack it open, and watch the world sail past.

Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge

The bright, flashy corridor leading to the Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge aboard Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Bold, bright and flashy, the Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge can seat 198 guests and functions as the ship’s secondary show lounge. Music, dancing, and other nightly entertainment such as comedy acts and the always-popular “Newlywed, Not-so-Newlywed” game show are featured here throughout the voyage.

Plenty of plush, comfortable seating makes taking in nightly entertainment here a pleasure. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The Bar in the Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge. Note the piano keys on the floor! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

With its own distinct style, this colourful room feels warm and inviting by day and night.

DECKS 7 to 10

Going up! Let's take one of Pride of America's elevators up to the next deck of public rooms! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

These decks are solely for passenger accommodations.


The Aloha Café

Pride of America’s casual buffet eatery is the Aloha Café, which conveniently features both indoor and outdoor seating.

Ample outdoor seating is available at the Aloha Cafe, and can be used in almost all weather conditions. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Traditional Hawaiian décor is feature inside, while the outdoor seating area overlooks the ship’s wake and is surprisingly spacious.  After all, you’re in Hawaii – why would you not want to sit outdoors?

South Beach Pool

The inviting South Beach Pool is located amidships on Deck 11 aboard Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The South Beach Pool is the main pool and hot tub area aboard the Pride of America. Designed to replicate the hip, fun vibe of Miami’s South Beach, the South Beach Pool area features plenty of seating, a large swimming pool and four hot tubs.  There’s also a dedicated Kid’s Pool located one deck up, on Deck 12.

In the humidity of Hawaii, a refreshing dip is just the cure! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders


Santa Fe Spa & Fitness Centre

The comfortable reception area in the Santa Fe Spa aboard Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

All the way aft on Deck 12 is Pride of America’s Santa Fe Spa & Fitness Centre. Operated by Mandara, the Santa Fe Spa offers guests a variety of treatments ranging from acupuncture to massage.  Cool, New Mexico-décor adds a warm ambiance to the spa and the sea – and Hawaii – are never far from sight thanks to a number of large bay windows. Just aft of the Spa is the adjacent Oasis pool, located on the very end of the stern.

The extensive Fitness Centre aboard Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The fitness centre is just forward of the spa and includes all the usual workout equipment you might expect from a ship of this size.


Let's take the aft outdoor stairs up to Deck 13! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Waikiki Bar

You can’t beat the stunning views from the Waikiki Bar. Located at the stern of Deck 13, this panoramic lookout point is also an excellent watering hole, allowing guests to take in the beautiful Hawaiian sunsets as their ship sails off into the distance.

The Waikiki Bar, looking out over downtown Honolulu. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The Waikiki Bar looks out over the Pride of America's stern and aft pool. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Diamond Head Auditorium

If you’ve looked up at Pride of America and wondered, ‘what’s that circular room on top of the bridge?’, here’s your answer: it’s the Diamond Head Auditorium, and it can seat over 260 people.

The Diamond Head Auditorium is one of Pride of America's most distinctive features. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Part of Pride of America’s extensive conference facilities on Deck 13, the Diamond Head Auditorium is a refreshing change from traditional conference facilities, which typically find themselves located on a tucked-away corner of the lowest passenger deck. Other events can be held here too, as the entire facility has a capacity of over 600 guests.


Although my time aboard her was short, I came away with a new level of appreciation for this unique ship, which has largely gone unnoticed since her first few rocky sailings. She delivers a product that is distinctly American, but with the cool, funky flair that Norwegian Cruise Line is becoming known for.

The upper level of the forward staircase aboard Pride of America. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

For myself, perhaps the biggest revelation was how restrained her interior décor is.  It’s so easy to push the boundaries of good taste when you hear words like “Americana”, but rather than fill the ship with the rah-rah colours of the red, white and blue, Pride of America’s interior design team has pulled back on the reigns, preferring instead to pull from important places and historical events the necessary themes to mould the ship’s public spaces around.

Uniquely suited to Hawaii, this is the only mega-cruise ship in the world that is able to complete roundtrip cruises from Honolulu.  There’s only one Hawaii, and just one Pride of America.

The upper decks of Pride of America, looking out over Honolulu. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

More information on Pride of America and her Hawaiian sailings can be found on the Norwegian Cruise Line website, or by visiting the complete Pride of America review on our sister-site, The Avid Cruiser.



11 Responses to Pride of America

  1. Keith Henderson says:

    Thanks for the article. I have seen her pull into Honolulu one morning th at I was in town for business and hope to have the chance to cruise with my wife on the POA.

  2. Janna says:

    Beautiful ship! Thanks for the photos and write up. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to sail on her one day. I’ll be on my first Non-Jewel class in May.

  3. Tom says:

    Just be prepared to spend 48 hours or more with the Norovirus which they do not advertise until you are 5 minutes from getting on the ship. If you are sharing a stateroom, be prepared for 6 days as your partner will catch it too.

  4. Shane Jurgeleit says:

    Looks amazing,going on the cruise March 2014 for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.
    Can`t wait Can`t wait.

  5. Dwight Stein says:

    We are from Regina,Sask.,Canada the home of the CFL grey cup champions thr Saskatchewan Roughriders. I would like to give the captain on the Pride of America a greycup baseball hat from our city. We will be cruising on the Pride of America from 1 Feb to Feb. 7th. Is there any chance Icould give him this hat during the cruise.
    Thank you for your anticipated reply.

    Dwight Stein

    • Aaron Saunders says:

      It’s highly possible. I’d inquire with the Guest Services team once you are onboard; I can’t imagine it would be a problem!

  6. jeannette lockwood says:

    Our 25 anniversary was in March 25, 2013. We could not go to Hawaii last year. We will be going may 1, 2014.My husband and I cant wait to get there. This is the first vacation to a island. Hope everything is beautiful as I dream off.

  7. Gayle Jackson says:

    Thank you for the introductory photos! Sailing April 26th. Looks impressive!

  8. Sharon B says:

    Thanks for the great pictures. It will help us find different areas of the ship when we arrive later this month.

  9. Stacy says:

    My daughter is a cosmetologist on board. She said its a fantastic itinerary in one of God’s prettiest designs!

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