I recently cruised with Pride of America from Sept 27 to Oct 4, 2008. The service was the worst I have ever seen in my life. I saw employees arguing openly on 4 different occasions and using fowl language. Our stateroom looked filthy. The sofa has stains all over it, there was trash under our bed, mold in the bathroom and when I was straigntening the sheets up on the bed I saw blood stain covers underneath. This was just my first day. The employess were lazy and would walk right past you in "any" of the restaurants we went to. We sat for 2 hours in the Cadillac diner before we were even asked what we wanted and there were only 6 other people in there. The employees were standing in the back laughing and just looking at us. I suppose when you hire american union workers and treat them like crap this is what you get. I asked several employess if they liked their jobs and only one out of about ten said that they did. There was so much discord among the employees that it made it hard to enjoy the cruise. I heard one employee at the salad bar say very loud that she was sick and tired of all these fu---ng pigs eating at the trough. She knew I heard and looked at me with a lot of attitude. I went to complain, but the line was so long with people that I gave up. We were traveling with other couples and they all said the same thing. We talked with several people on the ship and they were all dissapointed. The only guy that said he liked it was one that said it was given to him as a gift so he didn't want to complain. I have cruised several other cruise lines and NCL is the worst in the ocean. I think this fleet will eveuntally go out of business because of the bad service, food, and staterooms. I spoke with a couple on the same cruis on Holland America and they were telling me how wonderful the service was and how clean the ship was.
Your account of the cruise does indeed seem a bit extreme compared to most post about NCL America. It appears you were aware that the crew on POA are American union workers. Also understand that the POA is under NCL America brand because of that. The ship is registered in America and must have American crew. Norwegian Cruise Lines is separate. Their ships are registered outside of the US and have foreign crew. It is not likely that NCL will go under because of the Pride of America. NCL America has pulled two of their ships from the market and put them back in the NCL fleet. There has been a lot of problems reported with the American crew. Then again, there have been many to sail on the cruise and report a good experience.
When NCL America started, the idea was to provide a cruise experience where customers could experience the Hawaiian islands in a 7-day period and be allowed more time in each port. Previously with the foreign registered ship they had to travel to Fanning Island to fulfill the foreign port rule, thus making the cruise longer and less time in the Hawaiian islands. With all the problems NCL America has had it wouldn't surprise me to see them eventually go back to a NCL foreign registered ship. But don't expect NCL is going to go under.
I sailed on the POA last September 07. Waiting at the pier on Maui I over heard the employees complaining about the working conditions on the ship. They are over worked sometimes months without a day off, If an Employee gets fired they are abandoned at the nearest port of call. They sounded as if the ship was more like a slave ship. We spent over $3000 total for our vacation and were very unhappy.
I think the attitude of the staff does rub off on the passengers. During our cruise in August my sister and I wondered out- loud "why doesn't it look like anyone is having fun on this ship?"
Reading reviews of this cruise before taking it, I was expecting the more "casual" attitude of the american staff, but didn't realize that meant I'd have to clear my own table for lunch while 5 employees stood watching. There were a few really friendly and attentive staff members, but the overall vibe was not good.
As far as not equating NCL with NCL-A, maybe for the serious cruise fanatics they make a distinction, but do you really think the general public knows, sees, or cares about the difference?
I have never said a took a NCL-America cruise, just a NCL cruise. Isn't their web page NCL.com? Maybe they are 2 seperate entities but most people wouldn't even know or care.
For perspective, working for months without a day off is quite common in the cruise industry and has been for ages. Assuming the American crew defines a day off as 24 hours, they are in a distinct minority when it comes to crew work hours. Ask any non-American crew member on the typical main stream line about their off time and the answer will usually be "I get the morning and afternoon off every other week" or something similar. They cannot staff a ship to levels which cover for X number of crew having days off every week.
If one allows another person's bad "vibes" to ruin their whole cruise then they have only themselves to blame. If you allow it to happen you have ceded control to the malcontents.
Frankly, if I was a cruise line supervisor and heard crew grousing in front of the passengers they'd soon be former crew members.
LOL! Who didn't see it coming? There is a reason why there hasn't been an American flagged passenger ship since the late 1960's.
Most Americans are lazy, especially when you throw in that type of work schedule..they're just not used to that kind of workload. The foreign crews are used to it and besides, the foreign crew members are polite, efficient and take pride in their jobs. And not to say that ALL the crewmemebers on the ship are rude & lazy, it just doesn't suprise me to hear such negative comments and morale from an American crew in the 'cruiseship industry'.
Sadly it's the passengers who have worked hard all year and try to reward themselves with a nice vacation only to be treated like a piece of luggage.
NCL might not go under but don't be suprised in the future when the NCLA division gets folded.
Oh, and you can relax.....I'm an American citizen.