I can understand that view, as the head of my cruise department (45+ cruises) had sailed with NCL four times previously and currently has another cruise booked. And she never had much of a problem at all. She highly recommended NCL to me for this special occasion. So you can well imagine my shock. I have just spoken with NCL HQ in Miami and they weren't surprised (THAT surprised me). When I could give them specific names, times and dates it became obvious to them I wasn't just some crank caller. Such as ... I was aware of the ship's DJ being fired for having sex with a passenger in a public space. Lack of specific provisions in the ship (ie. cheese, pastries, particular sauces,etc.) Why they weren't serving Grand Marnier with desserts anymore. (too expensive ... even though it's on the menu). That I knew about the toilet in the suite that didn't work for four days, forcing the occupants to use the public facilities with their kids. That I was witness at one dinner where the bussing staff so bad, that they were breaking dishes and glasses every minute or so ….. I was starting to think I was at a Greek wedding. That I knew how many managers they had running a particular restaurant in the last 30 days (the answer is 4, and according to him, soon to be 5). I didn’t have any negative preconceptions about NCL before the cruise, and as a result I’m very disappointed that I have had such an amazingly bad trip. But …. the truth is the truth. Anyone considering NCL should be aware of these issues. While I’m glad that previous “cruisers” had a good experience, …. things aboard this ship have changed. I did a Google search about complaints with NCL and this ship in particular and found hundreds and hundreds of complaints. They ranged from the more mundane issues such as a “too small” cabin to the truly horrendous. The problem with the worst of the issues I read about is that they had “the ring of truth” to them …. you may know what I mean … when you can just tell the people are writing from the heart, and it’s not just being nasty or spiteful. There were just too many of them to ignore and I noticed there are now specific web sites about NCL problem cruises. I’m expecting another call from NCL …. I’ll try to keep you posted.
If you are willing to pay $2,500 for airfare and a 7 day cruise you might want to look at some alternatives for Hawaii. HAL, Celebrity, and Princess have cruises to Hawaii from the US west coast and you may be able to find something reasonably close to $1,250 per person for an inside cabin.
Based on my 15 cruises I understand that there are persons out there who complain about everything and unfairly so. There are others who really know about cruising and who write about their experiences in a fair and balanced manner. It seems to me that the respondents here are to paraphrase Howard Cosell, telling it like it is.
Another idea is to select another cruise to another part of the world, because your budget will allow yopu some very interesting itineraries on some very nice ships. And down the road you and your wife can see Hawaii on a cruise ship which doesn't have so many negatives.
Sarge, in my earlier response I mentioned that Celebrity, HAL, and Princess have round trip cruises from the US west coast. Here are some ideas for you with some approximate fares gleaned from some travel related websites (all prices are inside, per person)
Island Princess 15 days from LA rt $1,399 3/27/2007
Celebrity Infinity 15 days,LA rt, $1,469
Regal Princess 15 days? $1,299 LA rt
4/28/2007 - this ship does the same itinerary from LA on 7/2/2007- $1,599.
HAL Zaadam 15 days San Diego RT $1,452
Also, there are some repositioning cruises that include Hawaii that are very reasonably priced even if the airfare is higher.
Disappointments are mostly a result of too high and wrong expectations.
Many other cruisers warned me to go on certain ships and I had my best time of my life as you am the one who is setting the standards what is good to me or not.
If you only trust to other's opinion you will might never discover the route and the ship!!!
Make your own experience.
Reviews like TA's is just a sign for "missing power" to have real arguments. Some of them are nonsense!!!
There are so many passengers on PRIDE OF ALOHA with this initiaries. Don't you think NCL America will be already bancrupt if every guest is feeling like TA?
This TA cannot be a good one! If his own consultant has a good opinion and recommend to him, she must a have a lot of good opinions from NORMAL cruisers - normal guests with normal expectations. I feel sorry for her because I am sure she did not just to tease her boss with this recommandations.
For me it sounds more like a review from someone who was cruising the first time and watched to much LOVE BOAT on TV and had totally wrong expectations from this cruise.
I feel sorry for you that you do not want to book. You could have totally other conditions to have the greatest cruise of your life and you will never find out.
If I will ever have the chance to go on this ship and make this tour I will definately do it. And I decide myself if it was good or not!