I'm very interested also. We're booked for September 5 cruise on POA??? All the reviews on the boards have been very scary. Too late to cancel guess we'll just have to eat on the islands. If anyone has had a better experience I'd love to hear it!!
I was on the Aug 15-22 cruise and have mixed emotions. Had some good experiences, but more bad ones. Was with a group of eight which made getting dinner reservations for the two main dining rooms possible- but we still had to sit for two hours to get served (wasn't about to pay the surcharge for the specialty restaurants). The restaurant staff tried to do their best, but they were understaffed and undertrained for the task. Food was OK but not up to the quality I've experienced on other cruise lines.
Service in the buffet line was also sub par- again the workers were understaffed and undertrained. We had to clean our own tables just to sit down. Food wasn't very good so we reverted to eating from the poolside BBQ.
One positive point about the poor service is that we saved money on our bar tab. Had to go to the bar ourselves to order, and had to hunt for an open bar at night. Never encountered a waiter selling drinks except in the theater at night.
One bright spot was our room steward. After the first night when he was tied up delivering luggage and couldn't finish cleaning our room until late, we got great service for the rest of the cruise- comparable to other lines where we had turn down service and chocolate candies on our bed and my wife's nightgown was folded into diffterent designs. Another bright spot was the entertainment- nightly shows were good. Unfortunately, we missed the last night's show because the service in the dining room was very slow.
Overall our group had a good time- wouldn't let the poor service get us down. Rated the vacation high but the cruise low.
Glad to see you are still posting and still trying to get the word out there. As you might notice this is the only board that I am posting on now ,but I still have a strong interest in what happens with NCL and the 'Pride' of Aloha. As you said somewhere, your money may be gone but at least you can try to keep others from getting ripped off.
I hope conditions improve before your sailing. I was on the 7/25 sailing and had a great time in Hawaii, although I had more than my share of problems with the ship. Here is a link to some pictures from that cruise; some of these were taken from the deck of the POA.
Nice to see you are still posting also. Wondered why you were not at the other board.
I guess I have been banned from there....said I needed to go to the administrator. I didn't tho........no need to go where you are not wanted...not my style. Still go there to read, but do not post. Oh...patandcd here! ....cd said to leave him out of it!
Your doing better than me, you can at least read. I can't even read the boards any more! I'm completely cut off. ( Well on my home computer, I do of course have access through several other computers) It is funny to see that even though they got rid of all those 'nasty negative posters' who according to them caused all the problems there still seem to be a lot of negative comments.
Still I'm moving on. I'm looking forward to my fall cruise on Celebrity so I'm spending time on the Celebrity board here and I'm planning another trip for next May.
If you want to you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Its nice to be able to keep in touch with some of the guys off the boards.
Gardencat, I will send you my E-mail address. I am a man of my word and I will be leaving NCL boards as of Friday. Of course, if I have new pertinent information that can help people I will post that, otherwise, tomorrow is my last day.
You know, all the complaints are starting to sound VERY similar. I see two major issues:
1) Backed-up toilets
2) lack of staff in the dining room
These are two very fixable problems: The toilets thing might take some time (since some major re-piping may need to be done) and the staffing thing will be remedied as soon as they can get qualified personnel in place.
Really, not much else. There were some mentions about the housekeeping, but subsequent messages say it is getting better.
NCL says it is working on the problems. I expect it to get better. I hope ;-)
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
As someone who has not been on POA, I don't understand how you can make a general statement that there are only 2 problems on ship. Many people want to keep posts to a decent legnth and dont want to type everything wrong. I was on the ship last week as I have stated in other posts, and much to your disbelief I and 2000 other people who were on that ship feel we deserve almost a full refund. Not one thing was done right on this ship. Just to let you know that my letter to NCL is already 8 pages long with what made this boat a living hell for one week. Being from New York Hawaii is not a trip I plan on doing often, this might have been my only time ever going there. It all started with the ridiculous sinking of the Prid of America and being downgraded to a used ship and not being offered any compensation for being placed on a smaller and older ship that was somewhat refurbished. Just to mention one small and funny thing about the rufurbishment of the ship. While watching a promo for the cruise while on the ship about how this vinyl was used to secure the flowers on the hull. Going outside on the docks and looking at the flowers I noticed that they were starting to peel away already after only two months. I just thought it was hilarious how this was on their television on board and it was done so poorly. The pool was falling apart, the bottom was chipping away and getting bubbly. The grout around the title around the pool is already a dark brown. The windows on the top two decks probably have never been cleaned since the boat was redone, if they even cleaned them during the refurbishment. You could hardly even see out of them by the end of the week. How about being charged $2.50 per person for a bishops museum (located off of the boat). This charge was placed on everyone's bill at the end of the week, therefore all 2,000 passengers have to go to the reception desk to ask what this was and to get it taken off. The response I got from the lovely worker(I did like 90% of the crew) was why does everyone worry about their bill's on the last day of the cruise. My response was I would have loved to have paid my bill the first day, because it would have been blank. Who do they think they are to expect people to just pay a donation to a museum that isn't even on the ship.
I also believe that you should go on this cruise within the next month and tell me how it was. Your comment about going later to dinner is probably my favorite one of all. Let me explain to you how dinner worked. The restaurant opened at 5:30, people lined up to wait on line starting at 4:30. Just what everyone wants to do on their vacation. I would say only 20-25 tables would be used at a time, therefore everyone else has to put there name down on the list. this would take approximately 2 hours for the line to go down to the last few people. Since the service was so slow(meals usually lasted 3 hours) the next seating would take place around 8:00. They would be done around 10:30 and somtimes they would try and get in one more seating that would end well past midnight. I don't know about you but I don't like eating dinner at midnight after being on excursions all day. If you calculate the two main reataurants(same menu at each) that's prabably less than half of the passengers on board. The pay restaraunts we ate at only once. We sat in the restaurant eating for 3 hours, while in there only four other tables were in use. Earlier that day we had to put our name on the waiting list because it was all booked.
If you would like me to go on and list everything that was terrribly wrong with the ship I will. I just wanted to list a few items that I have not already mentioned in other posts. Most of them are not major but when paying over 4 thousand dollars on a trip not including excursions you expect a great experience. This cruise I would not take again even if it only cost me the $800 airfare per person. I guess if people are leaving the cruise ship this week on the third day of the cruise and paying thousands of dollars more to stay in Oahu, I would say that this cruise should be shut down until all the problems are fixed. I also wanted to leave the ship after the third day after basically fearing that this ship would burn down. The short version of the story is that on two seperate nights the wait staff went running out of the restaurants. Only a few workers were left to explain what had happened. After 20 minutes of still wondering what was going on we were finally told what it was. One was a "code blue" fire on the 3rd deck, the other was a "code bravo" this time the fire was on the 11th deck. I found it funny that the wait staff was also the paramedics and the firemen. Also while we were leaving the port at Kauai there was a helicopter hovering over the boat. Everyone thought it seemed weird that tourists would want to watch a boat leaving more than be up close to the mountains and waterfalls. About three hours later while cruising along side the NaPali coast the helicopter appeared again. Wow these people must really like looking at this boat. Well later on that night we found out that it was a "code red" they said that the engines were having trouble.
Well I hope this isn't taken as a personal attack, but I just don't like people telling me what things were like on my vacation. And yes I do deserve a full refund, this was my anniversary and a trip of a life time that was taken away from me.
If NCL is aware of the problems and is working on fixes as Paul says, they should also be concentrating on customer relations by giving future passengers who have already paid money the opportunity for a full refund after notifying them of the problems. This would give the passengers the option of cancelling or going, but the decision would be theirs after knowing what the situation is. Why continue to load the ship with 100% of passenger capacity when there is only 50-70% of staff capacity??? That's just a recipe for failure.
NCL should also offer former passengers a significant refund (say 30%) because it knew of the problems before allowing the passengers to board the ship. As a former passenger, I will never give NCL a second thought about another cruise- but if they admitted their mistake (about permitting excess passenger capacity vs staff, and not just saying they need to iron out growing pains), I would think more of them as a company and might include them in future plans.
Nate, thank you for the review ... and the pictures. Looks like things are getting worse and not better.
Especially revealing was the photo outside Crossings restaurant. That was a very accurate look at the situation ... people wall to wall ... waiting to get in to eat off the same menu every night. DId you have day workers on your cruise? It really does no good at night, when you are at sea for a full ship and no one to serve them.
We also went to Wal-Mart to get things. And yes, this was a first for us in 10 cruises.
One thing was inaccurate. No one punched out anyone on our week (Aug 8-15). But someone did spit in the guy's face the week before. While I will never condone such behavior, I would like to know what drove him to do that.
I do have a question. What time did you arrive at the ship? We got there at 4 p.m. and there was no line at all, another first among our 10 cruises.
Again, thanks. If you have more photos, especially of the sorry buffet situation, please post them. Perhaps those will open the eyes of the NCL apologists. Seeing is believing.
I wish I had pictures of the buffet, but the most I tried to get was the inside of the kitchen however, it was too dark to see. I did take some pictures of the dirty conditions on the deck and am uploading it now complete with a zipped 12mb movie of the crowds outside the Palace. When everything is up, they can be found at:
We arrived at the ship around 1pm and it was totally packed with people trying to get on. I should also mention that after we all got home, from our group of 9, 5 of us got really sick. My sister actually had to go to the hospital where they took some samples. We will know by Tuesday if it was a virus or food poisoning. Considering that food poisoning can come out up to 72 hours after infection, and with the conditions on the ship, I wonder if anyone else got sick.
At one point, there was a fire with some of their computers, so for one fun day to get on and off the ship we actually had to be signed in and out! In other words, the systems were down and there was no card scanning. I was behind someone who was getting awful sick until I decided to just pass them. I am not saying I caught anything at that point, but it makes you wonder how can something be so filthy without people becoming sick? (depending on when you wanted to get on or off the ship the day the systems fried, you had to wait from 20-45 minutes because they were hand writing all the names).
Yes I am talking! My mother and grandmother along with 29 other passengers were on that cruise, out of the total 31, 11 took extremely ill after the cruise. my mother took sick on August 23, 2004, and had to be rushed to the hospital on August 25, 2004. the diagnosis was traveler diarrhea, which comes from ingestion of fecally contaminated food or water. Another gentleman was hospitalized, and several other individuals from this cruise have been vomiting, with chills, headaches, body aches, and severe diarrhea(blood) since August 23, 2004, and some are still currently ill as of today August 28, 2004! W/B
I am very sorry for what happened to your mother and group of people. I sincerely hope they are all better soon.
This may have happened on the ship, or it may not have. Since they were travelling in a group they may have gotten it on any one of the islands in a restaurant. If 1/3 of your group got this then I believe we would have seen many more reports among other passengers on the same cruise if it was ship related.
Please do not go and post this on every thread we have as if you can prove it is ship-related. It may be, but I would tend to think it is not unless we get more reports of the same thing happening with passengers NOT related to your mother's group.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Paul you can add another 5 people from my group of 9 (I am still rather sick myself)
But as I said earlier, my sister had some samples taken from her when she was in the hospital and we will know on Tuesday what exactly it is. The all our cases include being unable to hold anything down (even ice chips) for about 24 hours, sharp pains in the head and lower stomach followed by never ending diarrhea. My temp was only as high as 102.5 but my sisters was up to 104.
The thing is, we did not eat off the ship for the week, with the exception of the sealed food\drinks we got in wallmart. We did not even really eat in the airport on the way home and none what we did eat, not all 5 of us ate. Also it does not seem to be spreading to the other 4 that were with us despite being so close to us. On Tuesday morning August 24th 004, suddenly we all seemed to get sick at the same time. I do not know where it came from, I did see someone getting sick on the ship as I pointed out earlier too.
Look, I feel really bad for the people on that ship and Hawaii in general. I know they want it to work so badly but the way it is going at the moment they just cannot do it. They should never have sailed so short in the first place. In some of the ports they had "Visitors" come on and help but even the crew said the visitors did not really work they way they should and stayed back to let the crew handle any of the dirty work.
If I had the money I would actually want to put anyone who just cannot believe what is going on to take a trip on that tihng. It really is different.
I have been on 5 Celebrity cruises, I can say no bad things about any of them. I know a cruise when I am on one and this was not one.
Nate, it will do no good. Most of the people who call us bashers haven't even been on the ship. The day they waste their money on POA is the day I will listen to them. I can see the possibility of someone getting sick on that unsanitary ship. And there were several times where the hand cleaners onboard weren't working when I was there.