Number of Cruises: 7
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of Aloha
Sailing Date: June 30th, 2006
Norwegian Cruise Lines America
Pride of Aloha Cruise Review
Avoid this ship!
I saw more problems in one day of cruising on this one ship than all my previous cruises put together, 3 of them on OTHER NCL ships. On other cruises we had always been told their ships were the equivalent of 5 star hotels. On this ship they didn't claim it, nor could they ever be accused of resembling anything higher than a 2 star hotel after the fiasco we saw on this booking.
Right off the bat, there was smell of sewage in our area every night. They deodorized once after we complained but it only masked the putrid smell for a few hours before it came back.
There were major problems with many crew members:
- They were unmotivated, uninterested to help or get involved. They had that blank, disengaged look on their faces, the one that says “what the hell am I doing here? I am too good for this job.”
- They were inexperienced, many standing around most of the time, many not knowing what to do
- Many showed really poor attitude, some being too aggressive with guests
- While in the long hallways walking behind a couple of employees who either didn’t know I was there or didn’t care, they were talking, one telling the other "why do we have to fake being happy? I'm not happy and I'm not going to fake it."
- Many waiters were not talking, smiling, making eye contact. They projected an air of disengagement, and almost seemed depressed.
- When people left tables the waiters were very slow to come and pick up dirty dishes, clean tables so others could sit at tables.
- There were some spills on the deck that were not being cleaned up. I was careful myself but I saw people slip on them. Some of what had been spilled was disgusting sticky stuff which you wouldn't want staining your clothes. I never saw them cleaning the spills. Maybe they did and I wasn't there to see it, or maybe they just did it at the end of the day because the next day the old spills were gone (before new ones could be made).
- On all our other cruises the crew would also be entertainers. They'd perform magic tricks, make trick animals with towels in the staterooms, doing magic tricks, joking with guests, and sometimes dancing or singing, especially on the last night of the cruise. There was barely any of that. In one case one waiter did talk, and on the last night they did leave a towel swan on our bed. That was the closest this crew came to looking like other ones.
The food was very inadequate and unbecoming of a respectable ship. Of all our cruises this one had by far the worst, the least plentiful with the least variety, lowest quality, most poorly garnished and served, and that’s only a small part of the picture.
- The main dining room had a limited menu and most of the items didn't change
from night to night.
- The buffet was the smallest, most limited ever on a ship. The worst
part was that the buffet consisted of 4 sections, two inside and two on
the deck, and the four sections all had identical selections. So, rather
than dealing with the small size of the buffets with at least creating
some variety among the sections, increasing the meager choices, they
made it easy on themselves.
- The arrangement for breakfast buffet was simply terrible. They had
one waffle station in the middle of the deck's two identical buffet
sections and one person was manning the station for the two sides of
the buffet. Therefore, waffles were being produced far slower than the
demand for them. To make matters worse, rather than separating the
waffle station from the rest of the buffet line, they had it right
at middle corner of buffet line. In effect, they were forcing everyone
to stand in long waffle lines even if they were trying to get some butter.
in those cases some daring guest tried to bypass the line to just get
their butter or milk or a plate or melon or cream cheese or anything else
hidden behind the line they'd risk the wrath of the guests already agitated
by the long wait. You'd think these guys had never set up a buffet line
to know some simple techniques for optimizing the wait time.
- trying to get a reservation to one of their specialty restaurants 2 hours
ahead of time an unhappy maitre de rejected the request claiming with
agitation everything was taken. No offer of help was made to seat us
at an alternate restaurant or day, even after we asked. We were tolk
with some attitude "you should have called before". And how the heck
were we supposed to know 3 days in advance what we were going to do
every hour of that day to be able to book a god damn restaurant that
far ahead? At least reject us nicely instead of acting we just
punched you in stomach.
Just about everyday we saw accidents and mess-ups which just became tragically comical.
- They had backed up toilets
- Ice cream cover broke and they stopped serving ice cream for the rest of the trip
- They dropped dishes and trays very often
- The sliding door between the buffet and the deck would close rapidly and forcefully after a 3 second pause. It actually ran into me as I was walking into the buffet. I learned this particular door's sensor was insensitive to people approaching the entrance from the side rather than from outright center of the door so it would detect and stop. The door was forceful enough that it actually hurt where it hit me, in my face, shoulder, rib, and my knee which was slightly skinned. Everyone looked with amazement and I was actually embarrassed. Another one to grin and bear.
There were many troubles with the cabins.
- There was one broken receptacle in the bathroom and I couldn’t plug my shaver to it. I called the front desk, nobody cared, and by the third day I had figured out the troubles of the ship and had decided to actually leave it alone because I figured it would create more hassle than it would solve.
- There were no door stops after the second day and I don’t know why. We needed them badly given that the cabin doors were spring loaded and would close by themselves, which made it difficult when you were trying to leave or come in with stuff in your hand.
- They completely ignored the "don't disturb" sign. On more than one occasion minutes after we re-entered cabin and put up the sign they just barged right in. In one case I was in shorts and got pissed at the lady who had come in.
- The bed was extremely uncomfortable. It had stained covers and a torn sheet.
- They had covered the middle portion with an extra blanket, to probably smooth over the uneven mattress, causes more unevenness as the blanket covered only part of the mattress.
There were many long lines everywhere, because service was poor, arrangements were bad, and situations had not been well thought out.
They had a sports lounge with TV screens which I actually liked a lot because you could kick back and watch some games in some cases. The world cup was going on and many more people showed up than they had room for. They promised to tape the game and show it later. Well, we came back later, and they said their VCR was broken. They eventually showed the game on another VCR but the quality was so bad we all left.
Their nightly shows and entertainment were low quality (except for the last night, what was called Sea Legs.)
For those who have cruised often they know that on most ships the crew who do the rooms make funny animals with towels and place them on beds. It isn’t anything necessary or important but it was during this one cruise, where they just didn’t practice the towel animal thing (except for the last night) that I realized as silly as that practice is, I like it. Yet another way this ship distinguished itself from others, in the wrong direction!