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Old 12-12-2006, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Just got back from a week on the Pride of America to Hawaii and were a little disappointed. We travelled through the Mediterranean the spring with NCL (on the Jewel) and rated it our favourite cruise ever so we had high expectations for NCL. The POA has received all sorts of reviews and my advice is not to judge NCL by their American ships/service.

We were expecting a lower than average service standard, but we found they actually excelled in this category - by the sound of it, their employees either don't have contracts or have very short ones so if they don't want to be there they can just leave - this means a high turn-over rate for staff, but a group of people who actually want to work there.

The area we were disappointed in, was the food. It was always in full supply, but the quality was quite poor compared to both our previous NCL cruise and other cruise lines we've been with. The buffet quality was ok but always croweded - some mornings a 15minute wait for omlettes! In the evenings, the dining rooms always had a wait to get in even though there were plenty of empty tables and then we waited a long time for the food. When it finally arrived it was never hotter than luke warm. Steaks one night were ordered medium rare and were served well done, "Crispy Duck" was served with a thick layer of fat instead of a cripsy skin and usually we were having a tough time deciding what to order, not because of too many choices, but of not enough! The specialty restaurants were better, but you are paying for them. We believe the dining room food should not be of lesser quality just because you aren't paying extra for it.

As for our cabin, it was small but clean and had plenty of storage. Our cabin steward introduced himself on the first day and was very pleasant.

We never take shore excursions but instead do our own thing so this cruise was perfect for that as rental cars in Hawaii are fairly inexpensive and a great way to see the islands.

All in all, we still had a great trip, just not what we were expecting. We will cruise again with NCL and will try not to hold this disappointment against them. My suggestion to others regarding NCL is to try one of their other ships first and get your opinion that way. We heard lots of others on the boat saying they will never cruise with NCL again, but like I mentioned, we THOROUGHLY enjoyed our trip to the Mediterranean! Try that one on the Jewel!
 
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