Pride of Hawaii
Newest Pride & Joy
by Linda Coffman
Los Angeles, May 2006 —
In a city where fantasies are born and dreams come true (onscreen at
least), we witnessed the culmination of NCL America's dream of an
all-American cruise line. Designed to serve the Hawaiian Islands
exclusively, Pride of Hawaii is the last, and largest, in a trio of United
States-flagged vessels planned by the cruise line.
the christening ceremony took place at the
Port of Los Angeles. As a fireboat saluted Pride of Hawaii with
skyward water sprays during the singing of The Star Spangled Banner, a
symbolic rainbow appeared. Surely that was a sign of good fortune.
United States Senator Daniel K.
Inouye of Hawaii, who was instrumental in the project's success and
"Godfather" to the ship, named Pride of Hawaii and then,
to insure continuing good karma, turned the stage over to six NCL
America female employees from the state of Hawaii who pulled the gigantic lever that released a bottle of
champagne to formally "christen" the ship.
Amid a shower of
confetti and fireworks, invited passengers re-boarded Pride of
Hawaii to sail on a 2-night preview cruise. We were all anxious to
sample the newest NCL America ship and experience its Aloha spirit.
Ten distinct restaurants serve a variety of regional and
international cuisines and offer the flexibility of Freestyle
Dining. What would a cruise through the Hawaiian islands be
without the best local pupus (appetizers), kupas (soups), nui
mea'ai,'ais (main courses), and ono mea'ia momonas (dessert)? Pride of
Hawaii has that covered with dishes influenced by Hawaiian cuisine.
Dining also allows passengers to dine open seating-style, when
they are hungry or simply feel it's most convenient. It's possible
to make a reservation in any of the restaurants, but if you prefer
to remain on "island time" and not plan ahead, 17 screens
located in passageways and lounges display the availability status
of each restaurant, including the estimated waiting time. If you
have your heart set on a certain restaurant and it's full, the hostess can quote a
wait time and issue a pager to alert you when a table is ready.
Grand Pacific Restaurant—One
of two main restaurants, with decor inspired by collectible menu covers from
the historic Matson Line.
second main restaurant, which celebrates the artwork of renowned artist Mark
Rothko. Watch for a subtle change of hues in the decorative walls.
Cagney's Steak House—Angus
beef, seared to perfection, just the way you order it (cover charge)
Jasmine Garden— Exotic
Asian dining in the restaurant, Teppanyaki room, and sushi and sashimi
bar (cover charge)
Le Bistro— NCL's
signature upscale French Mediterranean restaurant features nouvelle and
cuisine (cover charge)
Papa's Italian Kitchen—A traditional family-style Italian
restaurant where pasta, pizza, and crispy salads are
specialties and authentic Italian desserts are squisito
Blue Lagoon—The 24-hour restaurant serving breakfast
and an "all-day" menu offering comfort food, ranging from meatloaf
to fried chicken.
Paniolo Tapas & Salsa Restaurant—A contemporary
"cowboy" eatery featuring spicy tapas and traditional Tex Mex fare
Aloha Nui & Kid's Café—Buffet
style indoor/outdoor eatery open around the clock with serving stations and
a special kid-sized
serving buffet and tables
Aloha Nui Café
Attacks of the
munchies can be satisfied at the Bali Hai Bar and Grill, a lively
island outpost beach bar overlooking the Waikiki Beach Pool for burgers and snacks. Of course, room service never closes and
dining on one's private balcony is a sublime treat.
While there is a charge for some restaurants, no one is pressured to dine in
them and, of course, there is never a charge for the main restaurants.
This is Freestyle Cruising
and passengers can choose resort casual attire every night or dress up
for a special dinner. The only "dress
code" caveat is that no jeans, t-shirts, shorts, cut-offs, or tank tops are allowed in any of the restaurants at dinner. Most passengers
select an array of "country club casual"
outfits, ranging from pant-and-top ensembles to cocktail dresses.
Aloha shirts are always appropriate. Pack light and think mix 'n match with various
accessories. Without assigned dinner partners, it's unlikely that
anyone will notice a "repeated" garment.
For parents who want to share a romantic dinner for two, the Kid's Crew
youth program, with supervised dinner and group babysitting solves the problem of child care.
of Hawaii Preview, Part 2
Pride of Hawaii Preview, Part 3
Pride of Hawaii Preview,
Cruise Line - Cruise Reviews
Cruise Line Profile
Author's Collection & Courtesy of Norwegian