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Age: 39


Number of Cruises: First One!

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Pride of Aloha

Sailing Date: June 2nd, 2006

Itinerary: Hawaii

Norwegian Cruise Lines America
Pride of Aloha Cruise Review
Hawaii to San Francisco

Daniella Lankford

We had been looking forward to this cruise for 6 months and we were soooo excited. This was our first cruise. My husband and two children boarded the ship at 3:00 in the afternoon and were quickly dismayed to find that the buffet was hamburgers and hot dogs, and mediocre ones at that. We had expected better. We also thought it was funny that we were served at the buffet lines and that we couldn't get our own drinks - this slows service down, and makes it an unpleasant experience when the staff acts as though you are an imposition.

We woke up the next day excited about our first shore excursion, only to find that the toilet wouldn't flush. I called, and was thanked for reporting it. I assumed someone would come up, or call if it were repaired remotely, but after waiting 30 minutes, we decided to just get ready. Ate breakfast at The Crossings and although the food was great, the service was not. It didn't help that I found a hair in my eggs. On the third day, I got sick - Norwalk virus. I tried to buy Imodium or Pepto at the store, but it was closed. Waited three miserable hours, returned and found out that they had sold out of Pepto and Imodium had to be obtained from the medical facility. Checked the hours, and discovered that they only open from 8:30 to 11:00 in the morning and 4:00 to 6:30 in the evening. I went down anyway hoping to get some help. The waiting room was full of people in the same shape. I spent two hours there before I was seen. At 3:00 in the morning, we woke up because my daughter was throwing up. I called, and was told that throwing up once was not an emergency, and should wait. I called to have her bed changed, and waited 45 minutes, by which time she threw up and had disentary in another bed. I took her down to the clinic, only to find the same staff, whom I previously thought unfriendly but now realized was exhausted, still working! The male nurse and the doctor were very kind to my daughter, and funny. For the second day, we were asked to stay in our room under "quarrantine." We wanted to be good and not infect others, so we ordered room service. It took 30 minutes to get a menu, and then 2 hours and 45 min. to get our food, at 9:30 PM. It was barely edible, cold and obviously had been ready and not delivered for quite some time, but because it was late, we ate it. My husband started throwing up 5 hours later - food poisoning. The room was not cleaned very well, but I did get a container of Lysol wipes which we used to clean the bathroom ourselves.

Repeatedly we talked to people who told us not to give up on cruising,  just not to do it on Norwegian. We will not. There is no way to make it up to us, a refund would be nice, but a dream vacation turned into a nightmare. We could not wait to get off. On the last morning, my son got sick too. We stopped in at the clinic, and they by this time were taking names and telling passengers to go back to their state rooms and wait to be called. I told them we no longer had a state room, but that my son was sick and they had to at least let me fill out the paper work, so that there would be a record of his illness too. While sitting there, I saw some letters that I think everyone should have gotten, dated June 4th, 5 days earlier, informing passengers that 3.8% of the ship contracted this benign stomach virus, and they should wash hands well. Frankly, by the end of the cruise, this illness had affected everyone we talked to (in elevators, in lines, on shore excursions, the staff, etc.) in some way. It seems some people were taken to the hospital and many were on IV fluids to re-hydrate. People with other illnesses could not be seen, and were very unhappy. We did receive $200 onboard credit for each sick person (not for my son, we had paid already by then.) I thought I had to spend it on the boat in the gift shop, or on $2.00 sodas, but it did apply to shore excursions, and that was nice. I also filled out a service charge dispute form because I did not feel $210 was appropriate for gratuities considering the service we received. The full amount was returned to me, so I walked the ship and tipped three people that were actually helpful. We enjoyed the shore excursions and we are glad we got to see so much of Hawaii. I am also glad we stayed 3 additional days after the cruise - the Maui Sheraton pampered us enough to end the trip on a high note, but we will not sail with NCL again.

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