Pride of America is destined to be a one-of-a-kind ship, in several ways.
It was originally designed by AMCV for their United States Line, but
construction had barely begun at the time of their bankruptcy. They
designed it specifically for cruising in Hawaii, hence the boxy look to
the forward portion of the superstructure. The slow speeds for the
primarily coastal cruising, didn't require the sleek lines of an ocean
liner, so AMCV chose to maximum the interior space available. When NCLA
purchased the hull, they modified the design to accommodate their
Freestyle onboard product and lengthened the design.
Originally, AMCV was going to build two ships of the same design. Pride of America is now destined to be a one-off design since NCLA has decided to build their subsequent ship for American flagging on a progression of the Norwegian Star/Jewel design.
Inside, Pride of America also has a singular design. This is like no ship
you've ever seen before. It has quite a striking and different look, the
uniqueness of which doesn't come across well in photos.
NCLA has chosen an American theme for the interior, celebrating all parts of the US. It's both bold and elegant in places. All over there is a lot of detail not seen in many other ships.
The first place many people will see the Capitol Atrium, designed to put you in the mind of the US Capitol Building Rotunda. Check the detail in this photo, everything from the stained glass replica of the interior of the Capitol's dome to the bas relief just below it, to the bust of Washington and the colonial banisters. The Washington theme is carried through with the replica of the Washington Monument next to the glass elevators.
The patriotic theme is carried through in the purser's lobby at the foot of the stairs where one finds a very detailed giant replica in the Great Seal of the United States inlaid in the floor in front of the purser's desk which is backed by a large backlit red, white and blue mural.
While it might seem a little over the top, it does inspire a patriotic feeling among almost every American.
Remember though that Pride of America celebrates all parts of America, and
Hawaii is part of America too.
Pink's Champagne Bar on the second level of that patriotic atrium is designed to be reminiscent of the pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the first hotel on Waikiki Beach. It is one of the few Hawaiian-themed areas on the ship. (If you want to be immersed in Hawaiian decor, it might be best to consider booking the very Hawaiian-themed Pride of Aloha.)
Just behind Pink's is the Kumu Cultural Center with display cases filled with Hawaiiana to teach passengers something of the Hawaiian culture. While it's a bit smaller than the one on Pride of Aloha, it is in a much more high-traffic area, and will almost certainly draw more interest.
Proving that Pride of America isn't all colonial decor is the Cadillac
Diner. This casual restaurant is one of the specialty restaurants which
has no surcharge and serves "diner food," from hearty breakfasts
to real American favorites for lunch, dinner and snacks.
The juke box has been replaced by TV's showing music videos and televised events. There is seating for 100, 64 indoors and 36 outside.
Casual dining is also available at the Aloha Cafe, which has twin serving
lines one indoors, and one outdoors. This is another of the few areas with
a Hawaiian theme, decorated with outrigger canoes, totem poles and
traditional Hawaiian artifacts.
The "lines" themselves are gone, because the cuisine is served from multiple islands in each section, with each island serving its own specialty, including prepared-to-order omelets, waffles, pasta, ethnic specialties and burgers.
There should be plenty of seating. There are 494 indoor seats and 290 outdoors. There's also a buffet for 36 kids with small tables and chairs.
The Skyline Restaurant is one of the ship's main restaurants. The art deco
look pays homage to the 1930's skyscrapers. Miniature skyscrapers of
styles disguise each of the support posts in the room, and the window
cornices are reminiscent of New York's Chrysler Building. There is seating
NCLA's new system for displaying real-time seating availability will debut with Pride of America. Video screens showing the availability for all restaurants will be located at the entrance to each restaurant and in each of the lounges as well as other locations around the ship. It will help move NCLA to the ideal of being able to provide immediate seating whenever a passenger wants to dine (if he's flexible about where he dines). Often when there is a waiting list for one restaurant, there is immediate seating in others. The system will also allow the maitre d' in one restaurant to hold a seat in another restaurant for a passenger who is "on the way."
|Whoops! If you go upstairs from the Skyline Restaurant, you go back to the colonial look in the Liberty Restaurant, the ship's other main restaurant, seating 496. This room certainly has a patriotic theme, complete with life-sized statues of the founding fathers. The true colonial decor is given a modern twist with the bold starred carpeting.|
|If you are in the mood for premium steaks or seafood, the Lazy J Texas Steak House is the place to go. This is another of the restaurants with a surcharge, which seats 104. The decor features many of the touches you'd find on a real Texas ranch. "The Best of Texas" murals cover the walls.|
|The elegant East Meets West is actually three restaurants in one. They include a Pacific Rim/Asian Fusion restaurant seating 60, a sushi and sashimi bar which seats 9, and a Teppanyaki room. Its two tables seat a total of 32. Several tables in the Asian Fusion section look out into the Capitol Atrium's garden area. There is a surcharge for dining in any of the three areas.|
|NCL's signature restaurant is Le Bistro serving steaks and French cuisine. Now how could they incorporate a French restaurant into a ship with an American theme? By connecting it with Thomas Jefferson, America's first ambassador to France. Jefferson's Bistro is made to look like his beloved library from Monticello. Like its sisters on the NCL ships, Jefferson's Bistro has a surcharge and seats 88.|
|Again showing the contrasts of this ship, we move from the elegant Jefferson's Bistro to a saloon from Alaska's Gold Rush days. The Gold Rush Saloon has artifacts that make it look like you just stepped into a mining camp. Here 102 passengers will be able to play darts, watch TV, enjoy televised sporting events and enjoy Karaoke.|
|Another one of the contrasts is the Conservatory, a quiet place to relax in an obscure location on the ship. Just an occasional glass elevator passes by. Passengers probably won't stay long, however; the room has the most uncomfortable wooden seating they could find - but it looks great..|
More of the diversity of decor can be seen along "Newbury
Street," the ships shopping area. Note the unique ceiling design
which flows through various areas of the ship.
It should be noted that this page isn't a comprehensive look at the entire ship. There are numerous restaurants, lounges and public areas we haven't included. There has been lots of buzz about Pride of America having a patriotic theme or Las Vegas look. We have chosen the areas for this page to give you an overview of the diversity of the decor on Pride of America. It truly is like nothing you've seen before on a ship.
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Copyright 2005 by Cruise News Daily. Exterior photo courtesy of Christian Eckardt. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced, rewritten or retransmitted without express permission of Cruise News Daily.