Occupation:Human Resources Manager
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of Aloha
Sailing Date: March 20th, 2005
We disembarked on the Hawaiian cruise on Pride of Aloha on March 20, 2005. We had read the poor reviews from last year, but noticed they were getting better all the time, so we hoped for the best.
Check in was smooth and efficient. The ship is absolutely beautiful! We found our room (with a balcony) to be clean and well prepared. Although some reviewers have complained that closet and drawer space is limited, it served our needs fine. The bathroom was very nice and the shower was great. The only complaint I have about the rooms is there was only one operational electrical socket near the dresser and not one in the bathroom, which was very inconvenient. We found this to be a bit ridiculous – there should be at least one in the bathroom and two in the bedroom.
The ship’s staff was friendly and helpful -- they were obviously trying their very best to do a good job. Our room steward was outstanding; he took really good care of our room the entire time.
We only took one shore excursion (but not through the ship, as they increase the price dramatically if you book through them). The excursion was good and informative, but we found that renting a car and exploring on our own was just as good. Many of the passengers were complaining that they felt the excursions were overpriced and not that great.
The on-ship entertainment was fairly good, but I wouldn’t say it was phenomenal.
We felt the food could have been much better. They have two main dining rooms with the same menus (which were not all that impressive in our opinion) and several specialty restaurants (we refused to use them, as we feel the idea of the trip is for it to be all-inclusive, and they should not charge extra for any of the restaurants). The buffet for breakfast and lunch were good, but for dinner, they fell short – the quality is just not there. The ship did have a couple of deck BBQs and they were very good. One thing we did enjoy is they always had fresh fruit being carved.
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise very much. It’s a great way to see Hawaii. The highlight of the trip was cruising by the active volcano at night and seeing the lava flow into the ocean – that was a once in a lifetime event to see!
As for the Pride of Aloha – it’s a nice ship and the staff is very good. If you go on this cruise with the knowledge that the food is just “okay,” but not spectacular, you’ll be very satisfied with the POA.