Hello, I've just finished my first (yes, first, implying more to follow) contract on the Norwegian Sky/Pride of Aloha. I'm back home in the Midwest & have had a week to process my experience, since I never had time to blink onboard.
Believe me when I say there is little pride other than the name. The crew and most of the management is embarassed at the product we've given to you so far, & realize we have a long way to go. That being said, we aren't giving up, we're striving to make this a first class ship, if only to rub it in the face of all you naysayers.
That includes the presidents of several major cruise lines. Not only do they want us to fail, they've started a pool, with $20,000 buy-in, to guess the actual day we throw up our hands.
All you have to do is find 850 crew members, Right? Well, I dare you to find 850 Americans with no criminal background (USCG requirement) who will leave home(they can't all live in Honolulu) for five months and work atleast twelve hours a day, with a cruise director who never misses a chance to tell pax we are compensated, therefore don't need to be tipped.
Did I mention it takes six weeks for background checks and off-ship training, MMDs and physicals, plus you spend two weeks onboard before you're even acclimated to the ship and aren't in everyone's way?
If people haven't quit by then, they might be able to contribute. During thier acclimation period, they might enjoy half a beer in the crew bar. Only half a beer, because anyone with a bac of .02 or higher will be terminated. That might explain the shortage. Help is on the way. Or so management says.
What I've heard since I came aboard in April. "Things will get better when we leave the caribbean." "There will be no more 15 hour days when we reach San Francisco." "Things will be easier when we are an American flagged ship." "It will be much better in Hawaii." "Just wait until we are fully staffed." NCL finally sent some corporate types from Miami a couple weeks ago to observe. They came in believing it was an incompetent crew, just like most of you. Now they send e-mails everyday to Miami saying NCL needs to do something to alleviate the workload.
I'm not naiive. I didn't expect a vacation, I expected to work. I just didn't expect to put up with so much verbal abuse from pax. I'm sorry your vacation hasn't worked out, but what do you expect your waiter to do about it? If it involves a hot meal, or a cup of coffee, you got it, come to me. If you're mad because you were supposed to be on the Pride of America, tough. Guess what, so was I.
Sorry about the tangent. The last few weeks really calloused me. I'm refering to the Festival at Sea charter cruises, and the August 15 cruise. I'd never put up with so many snide remarks, and in-your-face cursing as I did on those voyages. Crew members were physically assaulted, ice buckets were thrown at cabin stewards, and my maitre 'd was spit on. (one side note to the caveman who spit on Guy; you picked the right person to spit on, anybody else would have cut you by that point in the cruise.)
I'm sorry this rambles so much, I just needed to vent. I'll be back on board in a few weeks, ready to prove everyone wrong again. Those of you who have cruised so far and have been understanding, I thank you.
Wow! Several crew members are checking in today! Glad you are getting a much deserved break. I, for one, and most other posters here do not want NCLA to fail! I want to cruise Hawaii eventually when things get worked out.
Can you tell me what NCL is doing to make things go better on the ship?
One must definitely give you credit for hanging in there so far, I can't imagine what it would be like to work around so many unhappy passengers. Best of luck to you and am looking forward to your insights.
Hang in there all the real NCL cruiseres are behind you .....and to all the cruisers that are always so happy to be the 1st on the ship ....well you should know better because all cruise line that have new ship its first few week are always hard and yes it has even happen to Cunard Queen Mary .
By the way I have posted also on the cruise-addicts site about the NCL bashing .
I've managed to keep an ear or two open. It's unheard of for new ships to run smoothly for atleast the first six months, or so I hear.
As for the QM, Gawd, I can't imagine a maiden trans-atlantic voyage. I tip my hat to those international crew members.
Hey refugee, I too am a current employee on the POA and share your sentiments. I will be returning for my 3rd contract in October as my vacation is in 10 days!!!! wohoooo. oops sorry Anyway it is refreshing to know that there are others that feel the same way I do, I am here to see this project SUCEED, PERIOD! The cruises you mentioned were the worst it will get and I know it will only get better, it already is. Lets keep our heads high, put our noses to the grind stone and show EVERYONE that the US is capable of providing the best of what Hawaii has to offer. See ya in October.
BTW Guy is a great person and if I would have seen that man spit at him I would have probably lost my mind (and my job)
Hello to you crew members,
Its nice to hear your side of things, yes, we've all heard some horror stories about this ship, but from what you've said explains a lot of the problems. We can only hope that more help is on the way and things will improve. Even in the best circumstances, working on a cruiseship is not an easy job, hang in there guys and please keep us updated.
I guess E&M has not sailed on the POA as of yet. Therefore I don't want to hear anything about people should know not to sail on a new ship within the first six months. If no one sails during this time, how could the ship improve. The only reason I sailed so early is that it was my 1st anniversary, so I sailed the week of my anniversary, also my wife is a teacher and there are only certain times of the year I can go on vacation. Also I don't recall ever seeing NCL(A) mention that only one bar would be open while all 2,000 passengers are on board. Also there was no midnight buffet, nothing to eat after dinner. Not one ice sculpture like you would see on a good cruise company like RCCL. If you would like to see what the food was, go to a school cafeteria and imagine the food was worst than that. I will never again cruise on NCL and I believe there are 20,000 other people from just the past 2 months that will also agree with me. The blame should not be on the crew because the one's that were there did do a good job. I was extremely happy with most of the crew. NCL should take full blame and help out the passengers who have sailed on the POA with more than a discount on another cruise with them. It is basically doing nothing because almost everyone that sailed on the POA will never go on an NCL ship again. So they basically are given passenger $35 for the trouble they caused. I could think of a good place were I can put that 35 bucks. So you can keep the low class cruise line for your real NCL cruiseline friends I will be going back to luxury at RCCL.
I'm with ya. It is my belief and opinion that no cruise ship in the history of the world has had as bad of a debut as POA. I too, will stick with the quality of Royal Caribbean, getting back in the swing of things on Jewel of the Seas in January. Buchie sailed on the maiden voyage of Voyager of the Seas in 1999 and had a perfect cruise. I sailed on the same ship two weeks later and had a perfect cruise. If real NCL fans want to stay with this cruise line, more power to them and I hope you have nothing but great cruises. But I'm taking my business elsewhere. It all comes down to management. And NCL is the same as NCLA. You can't stick a nameplate on a Pinto and call it a Mercedes.