October 16, 2005
We had a fairly large group sailing on the Pride of Aloha in Oct. that was arriving in Honolulu on different days and times for the mainland. The service at the airport in Honolulu was very poor. You arrived in one terminal and had to get to another terminal to pick up your own luggage, then you had to move it to the NCL pick-up point outside the terminal. There was no one to help you do this. Once we were all on the buses, they left and took everyone to the port. Check-in was very smooth and easy.
Once on board, we found our rooms without any difficulty. The luggage took forever to reach our rooms because one of the luggage elevators was broke. The rooms were very small, we had a room on deck 10 with a balconey. There isn't a lot of closet or storage space. Luggage has to go under the bed with most of your clothes still in it. The bath is small but useable. As the cruise director said at the show that evening, once you got soap on you could spin around in the shower and be clean. Our cabin steward was very helpful and did re-arrange the beds in our room. We had 3 ladies sharing the room.
Some of us went exploring the ship and to have a bite to eat. The buffet on deck 11 was OK. Not as good as some of the cruise lines I have been on. Later we had made plans to meet at one of the bars before dinner. Service and drinks were fine. We had dinner in the Palace dining room and was it a disappointment. The menu was very lacking in choices. They have a set menu of 4 entrees as well as 3 or 4 other entrees to pick from. The steak was a tasteless piece of shoe leather. Ponderosa Steak House has better tasting steaks. The lobster was quite good and the salmon was good.
The buffet had a lot of choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were tired of the dining rooms and the poor service we received in them, so we had dinner at the buffet one night. We were able to have some very good prime rib, baked potato, vegetables and fix a salad the way we wanted. The desserts were excellent there. The people that worked in that area were always nice, helpful and polite.
Our shore excursions were all we hoped they would be. I would highly recommend the Road to Hana tour. It was delightful. The luau was OK. After we left Hilo, around 9:30 or 10 PM we were sailing by the lave flow . The captain stopped the ship and then turned it 360 so everyone had a chance to see the lava flowing into the ocean. That is something no one should miss.
The shows on board were Ok but I've seen better. The entertainment in the lounges or bars was Ok.
The disembarkation was very smooth. We didn't have to worry about the luggage because we were staying in Honolulu for a couple of days after the cruise. The wait at the airport on the day we left was a bit long.
Some of us plan to return to Hawaii again but will never sail on NCL ships anywhere.