Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of Aloha
Sailing Date: March 12th, 2006
NCL - Norwegian Cruise Line
Pride of Aloha Cruise Review
Hawaii 7 day inter-island
I will try to be fair, as we went into this vacation already very upset with NCL. They completely made a disaster of our reservations before we sailed. They did not even send us our tickets! We got computer print outs the day before sailing! And we presented those for passage on the ship. The bottle of wine and soda cards promised to us for our troubles was never recieved either. We booked our air through NCL. BIG MISTAKE. Don't ever use their premium air. We spent over 24 hours in the plane and at the airport with the way they booked our air travel. It's absolutely ridiculous. Then their customer service rep had the nerve to tell me, "You know what your problem is? People like you want first class, direct flights, and you want it practically for free!" Then she hung up on me. That was my experience with reservations and premium air... Now onto the ship...
CLEANLINESS: The ship itself is really small. It was very clean, however the sewer smell is definitely still a problem. They really need to figure out a way to get rid of that. The housekeepers were very nice. They cleaned the rooms pretty good, I think.
FOOD: The food was mediocre at best. The breakfast buffet was the worst I've seen on a cruise ship. The pastries and breads were excellent, but the rest of the breakfast was not good at all. Oh, the coffee was very good and the tea selection was good too. It is also the same exact breakfast every single day, with no changes. They have: eggs (bland), bacon, sausage, hash browns (always stale and we always ate early), pancakes (turn hard if you don't get them early), french toast, pastries, breads, bagels (always hard and dry, fruits, muslix, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, cold cuts, and an omlette station. The lunches we ate were all at the buffet. Also the worst I've ever had on a ship. Mostly the lunches were chinese/japanese foods. Teriaki, fried rice, chicken wings... They did have a grill from which we usually got some fries after an unsatisfying lunch. The dinner we always ate in the dining room. It took forever to finish through dinner, however I must say, the waiters/waitresses were very friendly and helpful in finding answers for any questions we had about the food. The food was okay, but not the best I've had. I was disappointed as they did not serve the usual fancy meals you usually get on other cruise ships (no lobster tails, tiger prawns, escargot, or any other delicacies that even cheaper cruise lines give on at least the last day of sailing). The steak was actually very good. I had steak twice on the cruise.
ENTERTAINMENT: We only took in one show. The "sea legs cirque" which started out to be pretty cheesy and not really interesting. Then about 10 minutes into the show, they brought out 2 dancers who did really cool stunts and at the very end an acrobat that did things you wouldn't think possible with the human body. Those 3 people made the whole show. They were EXCELLENT. There were only 2 production shows during the whole cruise. That one and one other which we missed because dinner took forever to finish. The other entertainment wasn't really interesting. This ship had very little entertainment. There was only one thing each night. So if you missed it or didn't really care to see that one thing, you were pretty much stuck with nothing else to do.
ON BOARD SHOPS: They had a nice variety of gift items, but I was disappointed that they only carried a couple of different types of perfume. Usually the ships have perfumes from around the world at good prices. I was very let down by this. Also, the shop had very limited hours. I needed an emergency product once and they were closed. I had to go off the ship and purchase. The shop was only open for 3-4 hours a day.
EXCURSIONS: We did the Napali Explorer in Kaui (excellent). The Waimea Canyon was cancelled due to rain. We did the Hilo Botanical garden (excellent) but the helicopter tour of the volcano was cancelled due to rain. We did the Body Glove snorkeling in Kona. Not worth it. The staff on the body glove was excellent and the ship was great, good food, very clean. However, the area they took us to snorkel only a small handful of fish and the reef was nothing to write home about. We missed our Zodiac tour later that day because our Body glove took 5 1/2 hours, not 4 hours like the brochure said. The excursions desk DID refund our money without any problems. I was very happy with them for that. We did the Maui tropical plantations tour (not worth it. Very short and not much to see). We did the sunrise at Haleakala crater the next day in Maui. This was very nice. Although the clouds made it hard to see the sunrise, it was still worth the view and to be up in that fresh air 10,000 feet above sea level! We also did the whale watch. This wasn't worth it either. We only saw a couple of whale tails. We saw more whales (doing jumps and stunts) during our Napali explorer tour and tons of dolphins too. We went to Lahaina on our own and it was absolutely gorgeous there! I want to actually go back to Lahaina and stay there for a week on our next trip.
OVERALL: We happened to get to Hawaii
during a very bad rain fall, which flooded some of the islands. We spent alot
more time on the ship than expected because many excursions were cancelled. So
alot of our boredom may have been due to that fact. I felt that since the ship
was well aware of the flooding problems on the islands they should have opened
up more things on the ship. The coffee bar was always closed. The boutique was
always closed. The entertainment was very limited. They should have made some
kind of arrangements for more activities or at least opened up their shops. The
ship did have a nice Hawaiian artifact section. The staff on the ship was also
very very nice and friendly. However, most of the waiters and waitresses were
very young, college students, who you can tell were only doing this job for some
extra money. They were not the older, more sophisticated type of
waiters/waitresses you find on other ships, who have been in the service
industry for years. It took away from the ambiance of cruising, and also made
for very slow and sometimes inaccurate service in the dining areas. Overall, I
would not recommend this cruise unless you have not been to Hawaii before and
are looking for something that will just allow you to island hop and get a feel
for each island. This is not a cruise for people who want to spend a lot of time
on the ship being entertained and dined constantly either. There is really
nothing to do during the day and only one or two activities at night. So I would
recommend this cruise only for people who plan on being off the ship most of the
time. And if you're rained into the ship like we were, you're in for a