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Pride of America Photo Tour
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.
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 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!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just aft of East Meets West lies Jefferson’s Bistro, Pride of America’s French-themed bistro that carries a $20 per guest surcharge.
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.
Skyline Main Dining Room
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.
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.
Liberty Main Dining Room
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.
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
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
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
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
Names after the famous SS America, the SS America Library features memorabilia and artifacts from the historic United States Line ship.
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
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.
With its own distinct style, this colourful room feels warm and inviting by day and night.
DECKS 7 to 10
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.
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 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.
Santa Fe Spa & Fitness Centre
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 fitness centre is just forward of the spa and includes all the usual workout equipment you might expect from a ship of this size.
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.
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.
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.
PRIDE OF AMERICA
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.
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.
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.
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