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Stephanie

Age: 57

Occupation:Real Estate Manger for Utility Company

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Pride of Aloha

Sailing Date: May 8th, 2005

Itinerary: Hawaii


Stephanie Rankin


I sailed on the Pride of Aloha embarking in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 8, 2005, disembarking on May 15, 2005. The following is my humble opinion of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Cruise Value Center (CVC).

PROS:

First:
I survived my first cruise and my first experience with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) by indulging in liquid refreshments at the NCL Longboard Lounge. My liquid refreshments were served to me by preeminent bartenders working under adverse conditions. The bartender’s deserving of praise were, Melanie and Jerome.

Second: The cultural and art activities (Hula and Lei Lessons) presented by Ambassador Kawaka were informative, entertaining and purposeful. Ambassador Kawaka is an exceptional cultural attaché of the Hawaiian birthright.

Third: The evening entertainment in the Stardust Theater was impressive and entertaining. The performers were outstanding.

Fourth: Maggie of CVC was extremely professional and a pleasure to work with. Unfortunately, Maggie did not become my agent until the latter part of the planning stage.

Fifth: Cruising with NCL allowed me the opportunity to spend two (2) full days at four (4) of Hawaii’s magnificent islands.

CONS:

First:
This was my first cruise and my first experience with NCL. Notwithstanding this, upon embarking on the Pride of Aloha, first appearance was the deteriorated rugs, walls, elevators and lack of cleanliness. My staterooms condition was of equal deterioration, lack of cleanliness and absence of amenities. Having been told previously that the Pride of Aloha was a new ship I was astonished with the appalling conditions. I have since learned the Pride of Aloha previously sailed under the name Norwegian Sky, was built in 1999 and recently refurbished. Perhaps the ship should be advertised as being Re-Inaugurated on July 4, 2004.

Second: The service and dining experience at the “Freestyle” restaurants was a disaster. There was an average one hour wait to be seated for dinner and an hour wait before you received your entree. My dinner experience was a calamity taking approximately three hours to complete. The quality of food was average with an extremely limited menu.

Third: At the Barbeques or on the Buffet Lines, no one was encouraged to use the hand sanitizers. At one of the afternoon barbeques an individual used their hands to pick up food. The staff member at that station reprimanded the individual for contaminating the remaining contents. After noticing several other individuals using their hands to pick up food in the buffet line I began using the 24 Hour Food Service or ate at one of the local establishments on the islands.

Fourth: The staff was very friendly but somewhat unable to answer many questions. They seemed as if they had never been on a cruise ship themselves. The ship also appears to have been understaffed. Additionally, I observed the captain and his immediate crew reprimanding the staff in public which made me and others extremely uncomfortable. Perhaps a refresher 101 course on “Professional Conduct in the Work Place” is in order for the Captain and his crew.

Fifth: The service at the tour excursions desk was far from acceptable and overpriced. The tours that I booked online prior to the cruise were by far superior (i.e. Bike it Maui).

Sixth: The large porthole window in my cabin was never cleaned causing poor visibility when viewing the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

Seventh: The change in the tipping policy was not relayed to the passengers until the ship was underway. This was an inconvenience for me and others who had larger denominations of money. Additionally, the ship did not have ATM machines onboard. According to the ships front desk staff the only means of obtaining cash onboard was to use a traveler’s check. Poor planning on NCL’s behalf caused the unfortunate benefactors (staff) to not receive gratuities on the first evening from many passengers.

Eighth: During embarkation the staff photographer was brazen and obtrusive to passengers that relinquished having their photos taken.

Ninth: On the final day of the cruise upon disembarking the ship at 10:00 AM many passengers had to wait at the airport until 4:30 PM for their flights. I believe that CVC should have scheduled an earlier flight for us.


Let me end by saying that I paid for a First Rate Cruise but was given a Second Rate Jaunt of the magnificent Hawaiian Islands.

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