Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of Aloha
Sailing Date: December 24th, 2006
Norwegian Cruise Lines America
Pride of Aloha Cruise Review
I started out being very concerned about this cruise because I had read many negative reviews. I had heard that the wait to eat was terrible, the staff was not helpful, the food was awful, and the cabins were dirty. Needless to say, I went on this cruise with very low expectations.
I turned out to be pleasantly surprised. All the staff appeared to be very friendly and helpful. The stateroom was spotless and always cleaned in a timely manner. In fact, we had Christmas decorations on our door when we arrived.
The restaurants could have been a long wait, but there are boards that you can check that let you know how crowded they are. The first night we ate at around 8:30 and didn't have to wait at all. The only places we had to wait were at the buffet on the afternoon that everyone boarded, the Italian specialty restaurant on the last night, and the buffet the last morning. The food was good, but not upscale like on some of the cruise lines, and they ran out of smoked salmon and English muffins the last two days of the cruise. (I never even saw smoked salmon on the buffet, but I guess it was there.)
The one place where the cruise line was weak was giving good information about the excursions. On Kauai we rented a car and drove to fern grotto only to find that fern grotto had been closed since last March. Since that is a popular tourist destination it should have been more apparent that it wasn't available. In their defense, they may have said that at the port briefing, but I didn't attend that. The other excursion I would stay away from is the lava hike at Hilo. They say it is appropriate for 10 and up. It is NOT! You need to be in excellent physical condition to do the walk. It was 5 miles out to see glowing lava and 5 miles back. They did provide bottled water and snacks, but there was no information about bringing some sort of backpack. The guides recommended that you take 3-4 bottles of water with you, and it was impossible to carry that in your hands and climb over lava.
Overall, I was on this cruise during Christmas week and the ship was entirely full. At no time did I feel that it was too crowded. We were waited on and processed through things in a very timely manner with the exception of a few meals.
It was a great way to see the islands, and I would go on a NCL cruise again
without any hesitation.