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Linda Coffman


Pride of Aloha

NCL America's First US-Flagged,
"All American" Ship

Take A Look Inside

by Linda Coffman

When is a cruise not a cruise?

There are a few responses we can think of, but in our case it was when a highly anticipated sailing on Pride of Aloha was cancelled. 

Disappointed? Sure. With our bags packed, who wouldn't be? The only happy faces at headquarters belonged to two felines, who are always glad to see suitcases being emptied and stored away. 

What happened? From NCL America... 

Pride of Aloha Atrium

"Pride of Aloha’s crew has been working around the clock to assist in the effort to introduce this entirely new U.S.-flag product and to launch the first modern U.S.-flagged cruise ship in almost 50 years. Before beginning operations, this crew completed an intense training schedule and a rigorous certification process. The crew worked a 14-day repositioning cruise from San Juan to San Francisco and, since the dry dock, Pride of Aloha has undertaken two revenue cruises, a two-night inaugural cruise out of Los Angeles and a series of travel agent luncheons on the West Coast. The combination of all of these factors plus the fact that we have a brand new crew aboard the ship has led us to make the decision to cancel the two night inaugural cruise out of San Francisco to give our crew a break to revitalize in preparation for the Trans-Pacific cruise and our arrival into Honolulu on July 2. Once the ship arrives in Hawaii, the crew will begin a regular schedule with a set itinerary every week and the ship in port every day."

"The first modern U.S.-flagged cruise ship in almost 50 years"

The Pride of Aloha Reception area features murals of Hawaiian scenes

Yes, you read that right. And, yes, the now-defunct American Hawaii Cruise Line did have a U.S.-flagged fleet; featuring an aging ocean liner and one semi-newer ship, the Patriot (former Holland American Line Nieuw Amsterdam of 1980s vintage). However, Pride of Aloha is the first truly modern ship to fly Old Glory—she was launched in 1999 as the Norwegian Sky.

Despite the minor cruise cancellation setback, is aware of reader expectations and, thanks to NCL America, has information and some initial photographs to share. Plus, happily, we sailed on Norwegian Sky in January of 2000 and are quite familiar with the layout of this lovely vessel. We look forward to a future cruise on Pride of Aloha to examine the changes and upgrades first-hand and offer an extensive photo tour. In addition, we plan to explain the Passenger Services Act of 1886 and how a U.S.-flag fleet differs from its foreign-flagged cousins. In the meantime, aloha and welcome aboard our 'virtual' cruise.

A hallmark of Norwegian Cruise Line is Freestyle Cruising
and a diversity of dining choices. On board Pride of Aloha, they include:

  • Palace Restaurant—One of two main restaurants, vibrant tropical colors set the tone for leisurely, five-course meals.

  • Crossings Restaurant—Grand yachts of the Trans Pacific yacht race from Los Angeles to Honolulu inspire the theme of the second main restaurant.

  • Kahili Restaurant—Serving contemporary Italian cuisine, the decor of this alternative restaurant evokes the history and pageantry of the Hawaiian monarchy. (a $15.00, plus tax cover charge applies)

  • Royal Palm Bistro—Similar to NCL's signature upscale French Mediterranean restaurants, but with a garden motif reminiscent of Hawaii's Victorian era. (a $15.00, plus tax cover charge applies)

  • Pacific Heights Restaurant—Serving modern Hawaiian cuisine with a Pan Pacific flair. Expect steaks, fish from local waters, Asian specialties, and even pizza served amid the modern art work of Hawaiian artists. (a $12.50, plus tax cover charge applies)

  • Hukilau Café—Buffet style indoor/outdoor eatery embodying the laid-back Island spirit of a community feast.

Royal Palm Bistro

Sprinkles Ice Cream Bar serves frozen treats with all the trimmings and, of course, room service never closes. Dining privately on one's own balcony is a sublime treat. 

While there is a charge for alternative restaurants, no one is pressured to dine in them and there is never a charge for the other restaurants.

Freestyle Cruising offers the flexibility of dining when you wish and with whom you choose. What a delight... eating when you're actually hungry! Freestyle Cruising also allows passengers the option to choose resort casual "island-style" attire every night. For parents who want to share a romantic dinner for two, the Kid's Crew program and group babysitting solves the problem of child care.

Pride of Aloha's accommodations range from Standard and Superior Inside Staterooms and Standard Oceanview Staterooms to Oceanview Staterooms with Balconies, Penthouses, and Owner's suites

One of the most desirable of all stateroom amenities is a balcony, particularly in Hawaii. Book yours fast—Oceanview Staterooms with Balconies are a hot seller. Penthouses with a balcony are even more desirable with additional square footage and storage. Stepping up in posh, Owner's Suites are some of the chicest digs in the Pacific.

All accommodations are equipped with televisions, refrigerators, and personal safes.

For families, numerous staterooms in all categories are available for three and four occupants. Passengers with disabilities haven't been overlooked—cabins have been designed for special needs guests.

Continued --> Pride of Aloha Preview (Part 2)

Photos Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line - Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Cruise Line Profile