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Mark Johnson

Age: n/a

Occupation:Sales

Number of Cruises: 34

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Pride of America

Sailing Date: September 9th, 2006

Itinerary: Hawaii

I just returned from my cruise aboard the Pride of America and would never, never take this cruise again.

Like many of the other people that have submitted reviews here, I found the same experience. The ships layout and decor is cheesy and poorly laid out. Most of the staff is not happy, and thus seem to work at half-speed. And the contact people at the front desk are way understaffed and not properly trained to use the systems.

Dining:
The food was very average at best. The selections were very typical and bland, and the Freestyle Cruising is way to overpopulated and over and hour wait to get into the basic dining room at normal eating hours (5PM to 8PM) Even the late night food in the Cadillac Diner was bad and both times I ordered a cheeseburger, it was rare in some spots of the burger.

Staterooms:
Our outside balcony room was very small. It seems that there are far fewer inside staterooms built into the ship, and that they are trying to get people to think they are getting a balcony room for a good price. However, while there may be nice closets and cubby-holes to store things, there is absolutely no room to move around the room without being on top of each other. The design and layout are poor, and my shoulder is still sore from sleeping on the beds.

Public Rooms:
The pool is very small compared to other ships and the entertainment is very weak. All of the pool bars close by 7PM, so it is a virtual ghost town up there in the early evening when everyone is getting back onto the ship from their day ashore. Also, the hot tubs were all luke warm at best and pretty dirty. There are a number of different bars on the ship, but none of them are really all that great. (think of a Holiday Inn bar from 1993, and that's pretty typical) However, the drink selections were surprisingly good with many local micro-brews and mixed drinks. One thing however, stay away from the beer on tap. It tasted horrible, and even the bartender told us that it is bad and gave everyone at the bar a beer in a can for free that had a draft in front of them. He said that there are allot of problems with the keg lines, but to me they need to clean the beer lines more often (if they ever even have)

Spa:
Our spa experience was very bad. We booked a couples massage for the last day just to relax and experience something together. We walked into the spa and had our appointment booked by a very friendly person at the desk. The next day, we received a message on our phone that our appointment needed to be rescheduled because one of the massagers was off the boat that day and they needed to reschedule us. We asked why they then made an appt. with this person who wasn't working in the first place, and they had no answer. Anyway, they wanted us to show up a half-hour earlier than we had scheduled, but we were just coming off an excursion and would not be able to be there on time. At first they told us that that was alright, and that we would just miss the bath part of the massage, but we felt it was best to just cancel the whole thing, after all why spend $250 for an hours couples massage if your going to be late and miss some of the procedure. After canceling this appt. the spa's manager named Barry was very snooty with us about the cancellation. After we hung up with him, and very upset about the way he treated us, we called back and promptly cancelled the couples foot massage we had scheduled also for the day after the massage. Barry told us that was fine and hung up. However, when we got our bill print out, there was a non-cancellation fee for the spa for the foot massages on there. We marched up to see Barry and he told us no problem, and it would be corrected. Well it wasn't and we spent an hour in line at the desk on the final morning trying to rectify this. They even called Barry up and he told the front desk it was not to be charged. It is now the second day back home and the charge is still on our statement. We have called our Discover Card and will put a stop payment on our entire bill until this is rectified. Who knows if this is a computer glitch, or a disgruntled spa manager who didn't make his numbers, but it all adds up to a poor experience.

Shore:

This is where NCL did a fine job. The island selection was nice and plenty to do. Getting on and off the boat was very fast and easy. The only exception was the Luau night in Maui where 1000 people tried to get back onto the ship at 10PM when only one X-Ray machine was functional. But that is a Homeland Security issure, not NCL's.

Overall:

As I wrote on my comment card on the cruise itself, I will never go on any NCL cruise again. I know that this is only one ship, and that they have problems on the Pride of America. But in my opinion, if NCL doesn't care enough to fix the problems on this boat after one year, I will gladly spend my $3000 total bill elsewhere in the future. It is not enough to bring people on the ship and expect that since they are in Hawaii they can cut corners on staffing and entertainment. I travelled with 7 people total, and many have been on 10+ cruises. They all said collectively that this was the worst cruise ship experience ever.

Thanks for letting me vent a bit,

Mark
Chicago, IL






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