MIAMI -- Norwegian Cruise Line canceled the June 18 two-day travel agent cruise on the Pride of Aloha, saying it wanted to give the ship's crew "a well-deserve rest in preparation for the 12-day transpacific cruise to Hawaii."
An overnight cruise on the ship July 2 also was canceled to give the crew an opportunity to "recharge," the line said.
The ship is scheduled to sail the 12-day revenue cruise to Hawaii, which starts June 20, as well as its inaugural Hawaii sailing on July 4.
In a statement, NCL apologized to its agent partners and passengers for the canceled cruises and praised the crew.
"The company is very grateful for everything the crew has done to assist its efforts in successfully launching NCL America's U.S. flagged operations," NCL said.
The Pride of Aloha carries about 800 crewmembers.
April 13, 2003 Carnival Conquest
November 2, 2003 Norwegian Dream
February 26, 2004 Carnival Miracle
June 4, 20004 American Queen
November 20, 2004RCCL Grandeur/Seas
January 29, 2005 Carnival Sensation
September 11, 2006 Carnival Holiday
That is because the cruise that ended today was a total bust:
I just completed a week cruise on Aloha that left LA 13 June. Free food, you ask? Only in the main dining, the buffet, extremely limited room service, and so-so pizza (cheese, peporoni, or vegie) fresh from the freezer "24 hours a day" - not.
I have eaten better food in military chow halls. The only difference between the main dining and the buffet is the choice of oatmeal, which is actually grits.
Very basic food. Lobster night was Tuesday. Did you miss that? That is because the lagostino mini tail [that was the same size as the shrimp] in your linguini was their version of lobster night.
Bringing kids and looking forward to Planet Kids? It is a fantasy, a rather bare large room with red walls. They will take great care of your kids during the day for $8.50 an hour.
There is no kid, or teen, day program. Not even activities, save an afternoon craft that quickly runs out of supplies.
The kid's program is provided from 7PM to 10PM. That is all, save one day when they meet the kids at 6:30 for dinner. whippee
Brace yourself for the 3 hour dining experience [with your kids and other peoples' crying bored hungry kids]
If you experienced this lovely cruise, please sign up at the NCL13June group at yahoo.com.
I took my first NCL cruise which was also the first POA cruise, a 4day on June 6th out of San Francisco. The crew was not really ready for prime time but they muddled through. I heard lots of stories from disgruntled passengers, but I really didn't have any major problems. There was a story going around about one crew member who quit and took the tender to shore on the 2nd day out. As the days passed the crew seemed more and more exhausted. I don't think they could sleep well because of the excitement and/or the new environment. Many were not only new to crewing but some had never even been on a ship. We had 8-10 ft swells at times and I imagine some of the crew probably got seasick. Every crewmember I spoke with had a great attitude but many were sorely lacking in experience.
The food in the main dining room was consistently excellent, but the one night I ate at the Bufffet I was severely disappointed. How can anyone make meatloaf and meatballs that are tough and chewy? There was no ice cream anywhere but in the main dining room, so if you ate at the buffet you either had to trek down 7 decks or do without. Someone in Management had the bright idea that they didn't need the icre cream parlour that had been planned for up there after all. Very bad decision, and I predict it will be reversed.. The BBQ they had at poolside every night was horrible. I tried it two nights in a row and had to throw everything on my plate out. so I gave up on that. The pizza was good, so I made a lunch of that on several days when I came back from ports too late for lunch. Breakfast at the buffett was good, but the first couple days they closed it down at 9:30am. I'm sure they got lots of complaints, as I noticed on the 3rd day onward they were open til 10.30am.
I can understand how they didn't want Travel Professionals to experience their growing pains, so I don't blame them for cancelling that familiarization trip. Better to wait until they have consistentcy, and then show it off. I have no doubt that they will get it together and have a great product. Many of my fellow passengers thought the cruise was just horrible, but I really couldn't see it that way. I had a fantastic time. When I did have to go to plan B, frequently it turned out to be a really pleasant surprize. This is my first experience with NCL's Freestyle and really like it a lot. For the reasonable price I paid, I would go back and do it again anytime. Give them time and I think POA will be a very popular cruise ship.
I don't know about a class action lawsuit, but if passengers paid full fare (as I did when the POA was still the Sky, and also suffered with similar horrible service, long waits and bad food and even misinformation regarding the kids program), NCL certainly should do SOMETHING to make it up to it's guests!
Why should cruisers pay for an advertised product that they didn't receive? No offense, but unless you were on that cruise or the Sky cruises leading up to it and suffered through a totally subpar experience, you really can't comment on what those passengers should or shouldn't expect or demand. They didn't get what they paid for, and NCL ought to own up to it with the very least a future cruise credit.
FYI, I wrote 3 letters to NCL at the end of April detailing my experience on the Sky, and haven't so much as received a phone call from anyone. Not that I'm really expecting anything, not after my entire experience with NCL has been a series of lies and zero customer service, but I do hope others learn from these postings and beware of whom they choose to cruise with in the future. I know I did.