Pride of America | Activities, cabins, deck plans, reviews | CruiseBe
Average: 6.6 (18 votes)

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Pride of America

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Pride of America

80 439
921 ft (280.6 m)
First voyage

MS Pride of America is a cruise ship operated by NCL America, a division of Norwegian Cruise Lines, to sail itineraries in the Hawaiian Islands. It first began its construction in 2000 in the United States as part of a plan for a US-built and US-flagged cruise ship under Project America, but the project failed and she was eventually purchased by Norwegian Cruise Lines and completed in Germany. She was inaugurated in 2005 the first new cruise ship... Read more

Pride of America

Capacity (DO): 
80 439
921 ft (280.6 m)
106 ft (32.2 m)
First voyage: 

MS Pride of America is a cruise ship operated by NCL America, a division of Norwegian Cruise Lines, to sail itineraries in the Hawaiian Islands. It first began its construction in 2000 in the United States as part of a plan for a US-built and US-flagged cruise ship under Project America, but the project failed and she was eventually purchased by Norwegian Cruise Lines and completed in Germany. She was inaugurated in 2005 the first new cruise ship flagged in the United States in nearly fifty years since the SS Argentina in 1958.

Construction and design

For much of her early build history, Pride of America was known as Project America 1; the first of a pair of 70,000-gross ton cruise ships to be built with heavy federal subsidies. Project America was intended as a means of improving the competitiveness of American shipyards in constructing merchant ships, as well as creating the first US-registered passenger ships of any real size in decades.

The ship was intended to primarily operate in the Hawaiian islands under the revived name of United States Line, and replace the temporary MS Patriot and American Hawaii Cruises aging SS Independence, both American Classic Voyages subsidiary brands. A letter of intent was signed on October 6, 1998, with Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi to construct two passenger ships for Hawaii inter-island service with options to build up to four additional vessels.The keel was laid down for Project America 1 at the Pascagoula, Mississippi shipyard in October of 2000. The ship was to feature a four-deck-high atrium, a 1,060-seat dining room, an 840-seat theater, a 590-seat cabaret lounge, and a "uniquely Hawaiian" outdoor performance stage, with interiors by designer John McNeece and his company.

The Project America program collapsed in 2001. American Classic Voyages, the parent company, filed for bankruptcy in October 2001. Work on the ship would be suspended on October 25, 2001, after the United States Maritime Administration decided to cease all funding for the vessels' construction, leaving shipyard no choice but to stop production. The ship was 40 percent complete, and 55 percent erected, with 91 percent of the material having already been purchased.

In August of 2002, Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd acquired the 40 percent completed hull, along with all the materials and equipment for the Project America vessels. The hull was towed from Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding to the Lloyd Werft Shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany for completion as Pride of America for their newly launched NCL America division. In the process, the ship was lengthened from 850 feet (260 m) to 920 feet (280 m), increasing the gross tonnage from 72,000 to more than 80,000.

Under NCL America, the ship was initially slated for completion in 2004, but the delivery date was pushed back to 2005 after a major storm hit the Lloyd Werft shipyard in January 2004 that caused considerable damage to the vessel causing her to sink at her berth. Damage assessments reveal that the ship had suffered no damage to the hull, although extensive work was required to repair and replace equipment and interior fixtures, which were submerged for more than a month. The delay caused Norwegian Cruise Line to reshuffle its fleet, and move the Norwegian Sky to the NCL America brand, renaming it Pride of Aloha, and takeover the Pride of America's original 2004 itineraries.

The Pride of America was repaired, and completed sea trials in May of 2005. It June 2005, it left Lloyd Werft Shipyard in Germany, passing the retiring fleet mate SS Norway (which had been used to house shipyard workers building Pride of America) and sailed for New York City for its christening.

Service history

The ship was christened at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on June 17, 2005 by then United States Labor Secretary Elaine Chao who released the traditional bottle against the ship’s hull. The naming ceremony was significant as the first new U.S.-flagged cruise ship in nearly fifty years, and would fly the American flag donated from the U.S. Capital on its inaugural voyage.

The Pride of America's pre maiden voyage was an East Coast Publicity cruise June 18-24, 2005 with ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’ broadcasting their morning show from onboard the ship. A special platform was built on top of the sports court for Regis and Kelly's morning desk. The voyage sailed from New York City, north to Boston, then headed south for stops in Philadelphia, Norfolk and ending in Miami.

The Pride of America continued its maiden voyage sailing through the Panama Canal, up to San Francisco and then over to Honolulu, where the ship would begin sailing with its fleet mate, the Pride of Aloha. The ship was assigned to a weekly itinerary around the Hawaiian Islands with roundtrip cruises from Honolulu, and stopping at Kahului, Hilo, Kailua Kona and Nawiliwili.

Pride of America entered a fourteen day, 30 million dollar dry dock on 23 March 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The ship's renovations including the addition of 24 ultra-luxurious suites(replacing the former top deck conference center and observation deck); four Studio staterooms and four inside staterooms; a Brazilian-style steakhouse; ship wide wireless internet connectivity; new carpeting throughout; flat screen televisions in all staterooms; updated décor; upgrades to the fitness center; new directional signage; renovations to the gift shop, photo gallery and art gallery.

Pride of America entered a twenty four day dry dock period in February 2016, at the BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair facility. Normally, the ship uses facilities in Pearl Harbor, but these were already fully booked.

U.S. flagged cruise ship

A special exemption on the part of the U.S. government allowed the modified, mostly German-built ship to attain U.S. registry. Since Pride of America is registered in the U.S., she is subject to American labor laws and is staffed by a mostly American crew. This is in contrast to most other cruise ships, which are registered in flag of convenience countries and have mainly foreign crews. In addition, Pride of America has no casino onboard, because she never leaves U.S. waters. The American registry allows the ship to travel solely between U.S. ports, unlike all other foreign flagged cruise ships that must abide by the Jones Act.

The professional Deck and Engine officers on the Pride of America are supplied by the Marine Engineer's Beneficial Association, and the M.E.B.A.'s current president (2021-), Adam Vokac, had sailed as First Assistant Engineer onboard.


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Attractions on Pride of America

Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Hollywood Theater

Average: 10 (1 vote)
You deserve the red carpet treatment. Enjoy Broadway- and Vegas-style shows in a Hollywood-inspired theatre.

Cruise Next Office

Average: 10 (1 vote)
Here you can book your next cruise
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

The Conservatory

Average: 10 (1 vote)
This quiet area in a tropical setting has glass walls. Read, make conversation or do nothing at all.
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Hair Salon

Average: 10 (1 vote)
Your hair will always be perfect
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Photo Gallery

Average: 10 (1 vote)
Our selection of beautiful photographic prints is worthy of any wall. Photos on display are available for purchase.
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Skyline Main Dining Room

Average: 10 (1 vote)
Inspired by the architecture and skyscrapers of 1930's Manhattan, this Art Deco-style restaurant offers a delicious, traditional dining experience.
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Souvenir Shop

Average: 7.7 (3 votes)
Here you can by different souvenirs to any taste
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Fitness Center

Average: 6 (4 votes)
There are numerous ways to stay in shape while on board Pride of America. The Santa Fe Fitness Center is open from 6am to 11pm with a full gym and aerobics/fitness classes offered daily.
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Atrium Lounge

Average: 4 (3 votes)
Serves frozen coffees, expressos, cappucinos, teas, pastries and cookies.

Perspectives Studio

No votes yet
Here you can have your portrait taken professionaly

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