Karen and Michael
Number of Cruises: 7
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of Aloha
Sailing Date: August 15th, 2004
Itinerary: Hawaiian Islands
Karen and Michael Green
The Pride of Aloha needs to be renamed.....Lines of Aloha. We were plagued with inefficiency and shorthandedness this entire cruise. From the moment of trying to embark where people were forced to go through 2 check-ins , one for luggage, then the other for passengers to the lines we faced for everything....buffets, sit down dinners, credit desks, disembarking, you name it. Besides that stress we were not served well. We had booked 3 balcony rooms and found them not quite ready upon arrival....ashes in my desk drawer, no towels, dirt on the floor, a broken coffee maker to name a few of the problems. The rooms which were supposed to be big enough for three to sleep were smaller than most other cruise ships. The decor was predominantly bright blues and pinks...rather casino like. We did not get our sheets changed the entire week and I would have to sweep the sand out myself. Our room steward girl was sweet, but left half way through and the one that took her place was very poor at housekeeping. Dining on cruise ships should be part of the luxury. Not here. There was not enough silverware or plates or food in the opening welcome buffet.This was such a shock compared to other cruise lines where food is an art form.This was worse than a school cafeteria after 500 middle schoolers have sifted through. Service in the dining rooms was so very slow that often you would spend two to three and a half hours trying to eat. The NCL America staff on board tried desperately to make up for the lack of staff (apparently many of them had walked off ship, leaving them short handed) by being very apologetic. But NCL management decided to cut their 10.00 gratuity in half by the end of the cruise. I thought NCL should not take their lack of planning which caused our great inconvenience out of the pockets of their workers, but out of cooperate. There was so much wrong on ship, that whenever we came to port we rejoiced in the food on land, the beautiful surroundings and fabulous snorkeling, gardens, and beach activities.
The ship itself became just a mode of transportation, and not at all a part of our enjoyment. The laundry ruined my daughters dress, but since I still had the price tags on the dress I was able to get a full refund. ....but not easily. Thanks to Crystal at the Reception we won that battle. I am still fighting with NCL to get a 200.00 credit they owe me for canceling our original booking and putting us on a later one.(We had fees to change air flights that this 200 was supposed to cover) They promised me an on board credit for all three rooms, and at sailing we had only one. I fought daily to get it, and got the second one. However, they did not credit the third room as promised. Upon my return I played them the voice mail they left me prior to sailing indicating that I would get that....now they are recanting.
I DOUBT we will EVER sail NCL again. They are
a disaster. It is back to Carnival and Princess for us. All I can say is at
least Hawaii was our refuge from the NCL AMERICA disaster. If you want to do
Hawaii on a cruise ship,then I suggest you try another line....I heard Princess
was going to do one. As for my family it is a good thing we have cruised before
where we were catered to, entertained well (we were so tired from our 2-3 hours
of dining experience we never made a show),and felt like we got our money's
worth. We spent 10,000 to be starved, stressed, and generally ignored. The
saving grace on the trip was the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, brimming with
fantastic scenery and the true aloha spirit. I will say the ship did allow us
some up close views of magnificent coast line and exciting night time lava flow
views. Be sure to see if the reviews get better as time goes on....right now
Pride of Aloha is the Shame of Aloha.