Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of Aloha
Sailing Date: October 31st, 2004
We sailed on the Pride of Aloha from October 31 – November 7 to Hawaii. This was our sixth cruise, the third on NCL. We were originally booked on the Pride of America and I wish we had been able to sail on that ship; the Pride of Aloha is smaller.
We booked our own air and hotel; we stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village which was lovely. We checked in for the cruise at 3:30PM with no waits and got into our room quickly. The luggage arrived in a timely fashion; we went to the very quick lifeboat drill and then explored the ship. Our excursion tickets which we had pre-booked were waiting in our room except for the helicopter tour we had booked for Kauai. To get these tickets we had to fill out an additional form and bring it in person to the excursion desk and they gave us our tickets.
We ate in the buffet for dinner twice; the food was comparable to any buffet anywhere. The steam tables were so hot that handling the serving spoons could be dangerous. We ate in the main dining rooms three times, the food, while always the same choices, was good, the service ranged from very good to fair. One waiter was obviously new, brought the wrong wine and spilled sauce on me but I could tell he was really trying to do a good job. We ate in the Royal Palm Bistro one time. The food was no better than the main dining room. My friend ordered a steak medium rare and it took three tries to get it right. By this time our waiter was obviously embarrassed because it was almost impossible to fine him again. I don’t think it was worth an extra $15 per person.
I thought the room was very small; it seems that having a balcony really cuts into the available room space. We had a coffee maker and TV but no clock or radio. Our first shower resulted in our bathroom getting flooded, but a call to maintenance fixed that problem promptly.
We booked five excursions through NCL, and enjoyed them all, but there was a definite problem with their booking system. Two of our trips were limited in space and both of those were overbooked. We booked the helicopter over Kauai and for a 6 person helicopter they booked 9 people so 3 did not get to go and they were not given any other options except for a refund. We also booked a snorkeling trip in Kona for 12 people and they had 16 people booked for that trip. At least for this one they were able to offer other trips that were comparable. We also went to the Fern Grotto, the Haleakala Crater the Lava tubes and enjoyed everything. Hawaii is so beautiful that you will enjoy everything you see. For our last day we took the trip to Pearl Harbor and sightseeing of Oahu and afterward they took us directly to the airport.
The staff was very friendly; everyone greeted you all the time. The room was always clean and everyone seemed to be trying to make your cruise enjoyable. All in all it was a good experience except for the excursion glitches. I miss the days of the Norway with the outstanding service we used to receive and the truly excellent food, that was not what this ship was about.