CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews


Norwegian Cruise Line Pride of America Hawaii July 23, 2005

Ship is brand new but housekeeping was a problem and service was not to a standard I would have expected for the price paid. We left Honolulu 4 hours late due to a 27 passengers late out of Denver. Obviously NCL felt these people were more important than the other 2000+ waiting to sail. We were 4 hours late into Hilo which caused a large number of excursions to be cancelled or rebooked. We left Kauai 3 hours early so NCL could get to Honolulu to work on the ships engines (one of the reasons given for late arrival into Hilo.) Embarkation: We had pre-boarding because of a 2 night pre-cruise add on at the Marriott. The only long line we dealt with was the lei greeting and photo.

Dining: Food was adequate but not exceptional. Because NCL has a warehouse in Honolulu, we were told by several crew members that they could only take on provisions there. By Thursday, the dining rooms were out of fresh pineapple, pineapple juice and grapefruit juice. By Friday, the bananas on the Aloha Buffet were over ripe (BLACK). Service was substandard. While you could get an occasional good server, it was a rarity. The two young men who were host at Little Italy were one of the exceptions. Both were polite and helpful. We waited more than 45 minutes for breakfast in the Skyline two separate mornings. The LED screens for finding where to dine without a wait were a great idea when they were actually working. Standing in front of the Skyline we looked at the board which said the Cadillac Diner was open with no wait, we took stairs and arrived at the Diner within 3 minutes and found ourselves in a line and told it would be a 20 minute wait. The Host told us he had been just to busy to worry about updating the info on the LED screen.

Public rooms: Most of the Public areas were okay. The biggest complaint I had was the automatic doors to the pool area were heavy and with the ship moving were really difficult to open and about 75% of the time the automatic assist was broken. Also, they had real problems with the elevators and toilets although not affected by the latter only the smell on level 4 when walking through. Entertainment: Didn't really attend.

Cabin: Cabin is small even for two people. Closet space is VERY limited. The lanai was the best part of the cabin. Had a problem with the shower drain which took 2 days and 2 trips from maintenance to fix. Our cabin attendant was good, but not great. Soap dispenser in shower not filled upon arrival. Cabin made up as a double when requested a single (we rearranged the beds, but housekeeping never did provide a King bedspread).

Service: Cranky crew members with "not my job" attitudes through out the ship. Ordering a Diet Coke in a specialty restaurant requires the crew member to go to the nearest bar and get it. There are no fountain dispensers set up in any specialty restaurant. The hours may not be the hours the bar was actually open. John Adams Coffee Bar was to open at 7AM and was NEVER open before 8AM. Although we left Kauai 3 hours early no attempt was made to open any additional facilities. Only the two pool bars and the Gold Rush were open. Unfortunately, there were incredibly long lines at the two pool bars and the Gold Rush was low on inventory. When we questioned this we were told that the "guy with the store room key would be on duty at 5PMand we should try then".

Fitness Center: Equipment was nice, several machines were already out of order however. Shore Excursions: Extremely long lines due to the fact that the desk was only open 5 hours a day. Book on-line as soon as you can. Several times NCL only had one computer available (we were told several times that the other computer was not working) to scan ID cards for those leaving and returning to the ship. This caused long lines which could have been avoided by having leaving and returning guests use separate gangways like other cruise lines do. If you want to snorkel Molokini, book it independently for the morning of the second day of Maui. Ours was spoiled do to the fact that NCL offered only an afternoon snorkel on a 200+ passenger boat. We could not get close enough to any spot because of the winds and the size of the boat. The Na Pali Explorer Snorkel and Coastline viewing on Kauai was outstanding!!!!

Disembarkation: One of the few thing NCL excelled at...getting off the ship even earlier than your tags said. NCL directs passengers to a specific location for cab service. These cabbies have paid a permit fee to NCL and we never did see a cab where we were sent. However, there were many cabs across the street so just look around after getting your luggage and head toward the cabs.

Value: Overall the experience was not what I had expected for the amount of money. NCL is a Denny's/Motel 6 experience. Next time we will skip the cruise and enjoy Hawaii on our own.

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