Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Pride of Aloha
Sailing Date: July 22nd 2007
Norwegian Cruise Lines America
Pride of Aloha Cruise Review
Hawaii can best be seen from a cruise ship. The cruise ship you choose may depend on the quality of you stay. From the time we boarded the ship there were constant problems. I do not expect a perfect cruise nor have I ever experienced one, but this was out of control. After arriving at our room we noticed stains on our sheets. Upon further inspection we found hair between them. Once notified, housekeeping promptly came and changed everything out. A friend cruising with us ordered us a “Bon Voyage Basket” that is said to be in your room before you set sail. We received it on the 4th day of the cruise. This was after asking 6 times for it. (Remember, they paid for this in advance.) I did like the fact that the loud speaker is not in the state room so it does not wake you up with announcements. The food on the buffet was just enough to sustain life but nothing to look forward to. The specialty restaurants were worth paying the extra money. They were not great but better than the buffet. My wife and I tried to eat at the buffet at the rear of the ship for lunch one afternoon and got into a confrontation with an employee. He instructed my wife to sanitize her hands. She informed him that we had just done so and he stated he did not see her and she needed to do it again if she wanted to eat. After a heated discussion we promptly left and I made a complaint at the reception desk. They promised the restaurant manager would contact me but never did. We also called several times because our TV remote did not work. Every time I would call they promise to send some right up but they never do. The next morning we rented Harley Davidson Motorcycles and rode all over an island. The trip comes with a guide and takes most of the day. They do not tell you there is a $1000 deposit until the day of, so take your credit card. This was our best shore excursion. I highly recommend.
Upon returning to our room we were looking forward to showering after a long day on the road. I found a hand written note on the bathroom sink. It said “your shower was leaking into the hall, they had to caulk it. Do not use your shower until tomorrow.” We burst into laughter because the customer service and accommodations had become so disappointing the ongoing joke was “what’s it going to be next?” We called our friends we were cruising with to ask to use their shower only to be reminded that they had sewer water backing up into theirs. They complained twice a day everyday to the staff. Their shower was finally fixed the 5th day of the cruise. The next morning was the Mud Buggy Safari / Waterfall Excursion. This was well worth the money. You will get really muddy but they provide you with Army BDU pants and a t shirt. They take you on a guided tour of the mountains, sugarcane fields and stop for a swim in the waterfalls just before feeding you a very nice lunch. On the remaining islands we rented a car and explored on our own. This is a very cost effective way to see everything because a car can be rented for about $35 per day plus $10 - $15 for fuel. Back on the ship we had a few more run-ins with the staff. While in the Sports Bar I went to the bar to buy the next round of drinks. I was the only person at the bar and the bartender made me stand staring at him for over 5 minutes after acknowledging me. Then served someone that walked up after me! I turned around in disbelief to find my friends laughing and shaking their heads. The entertainment on the ship was “OK.” There is a noticeable difference in the attitudes of the staff on an American based ship. The act as if you are putting them out when you need something. We made the best of our trip and thoroughly enjoyed Hawaii.
We really loved our vacation and think Hawaii was everything people say it is. The ship we were on has a lot of things to improve upon. The shore excursions were fantastic but a bit pricy. You can book all of the excursions yourself and save about 50%. Reserve a car in advance so you get what you want. This is the very best way to see all of Hawaii without breaking the bank but I recommend a newer ship without all of the maintenance problems. I would not go back on this cruise because of the poor service, bad food, and a maintenance nightmare.