Hi Pata! Aaaarrgghh! I just wrote an extensive ship review in the "reader reviews" section only to receive an error message! All of my vacation report was lost! I don't want to clog up the NCL board with Princess info, so be sure to check out my reader review in a few weeks when I can get it posted. In short, it was just great. We loved Newport and Salem the best. Have a great week.
Hi Dalwhitt, if you want a "quick fix" I will post my review under the Princess message board of this section later this evening. Pata, Princess' theme is the "Love boat"... Julie (captain's daughter on the TV show) got married on the Diamond? Princess I think earlier this year!
Hi Pata, as Dalwhitt wrote, it's on the Princess section here entitled "Grand Princess New England 9/26 (long). I tried to post it in the reviews section and couldn't get it to go through, will try again when I have more time. Thanks again for asking, hope you enjoy it!
this is a vicious rumor that needs to be corrected about staff walking out , it might look that way but not entirely true after every port those staff member walking out will board the ship at the next port , the reason for this is bc there are crew members that do not have there marine time documentation which they need and are inthe process of getting them , its is really out of ncl hands to have those expedited to the crew.. things are getting better i got off last sunday , i had a blast ... i did my research on poa , i knew excatly what was going on and understood that when you start a brand new product like poa is there will be some glitches here and there , i have sailed ncl many times i sailed this ship when she was called ncl sky loved her then love her now ....
You are correct. The US Coast Guard are still dragging their feet in approving US Crew to work on the ship. The only way the ship can continue to operate is to bring workers on for the day in port and off the ship before she sails. Crew working on the ship in port are not required to have safety training, drug tests, criminal background checks - and that all-important Merchant Mariners Card. This is a great loophole in Homeland Security, dont you think?
Thank you, I just returned from a very pleasant cruise on the Century and am, hopefully, more relaxed and mellow.
I agree with your loop hole comment and I have noticed similar loop holes all around the travel industry. I think this sort of thing is bound to happen as everyone tries to find a balance between increasing security and still keeping life livable. Sometimes the compromises they end up with are a little bizarre. I guess Norwegian must be fairly pleased to have found this loop hole though, as it seems difficult to imagine how they would have kept this ship running without the day workers.
It seems, as a result of the terrorist attacks, it is becoming more difficult and time consuming to do anything and most of us complain, at least quietly, about the added hassle but then, when we run into a situation where find a loop hole or an apparent lapse in security, we complain because we don't feel safe. I guess this is all just part of life, post 9/11.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride of Aloha - signs of improvement
I had a great time on the cruise. The weather was perfect and after all the hurricanes etc. we were so happy just to have made it, that I think we would have put up with a lot and still had a good time. Fortunately we found just about everything to our liking and so had an even better time.
I am trying to write my review but between everything waiting for me when I got home and cooking a 20 lb turkey for Canadian Thanksgiving I've been having trouble getting it completed.
I'm still waiting to read about the "improvements". I think 98% of the messages I've read are very negative about the POA....here and at another Web site. Has anyone been on this particular cruise this month and can make me feel better?
My husband and I are signed up for the December cruise. We've were on this ship when it was known as the Norwegian Sky in 2000 to Alaska and we were extremely pleased with the ship, service, food and total Alaska experience.
I keep thinking it has got to get better but wondering if NCL can make positive, noticeable changes in two months.
puppykisses, there have been several reviews lately on boards saying how passengers are beginning to fully enjoy their cruise experience. I don't think this is saying everything is perfect, but certainly improved.
I too have finally started to read some more positive reviews of the POA in the last few weeks. At the same time however I have noticed ,on another site where they have a scale allowing customers to rate cruise ships, the POA has recently fallen to an overall rating of 1.3 . That is the lowest rating I have ever seen for any ship on that site. It is kind of hard to understand why the rating is moving ever lower while the reviews seem to be improving.
Just completed POA Cruise 10/3 - 10/10. Had a wonderful time. It was announced early in the week at one of the shows that the Service Fee ($7.00 per Day) was being waived and would not be charged to the onboard account.
Therefore, we tipped our Room Steward and others that we felt went beyond the normal services. The only negative that I experienced was the time it took to dine in (Palace, Crossings). It took on the average 2 hours and up to 3 hours on our LeBistro meal. We had a party of six.
The Cruise staff was very friendly and made you feel welcomed. I witnessed the crew even on their days off while visiting the islands lending a helping hand to passengers.
I do want to note that on the pictures that are purchased via Showtime Presentations that they refused to give permission (copyright waiver) to allow you to make a 4x6 copy that would fit your NCL picture album. They offer combination 8x10 and 5x7's packages.
I think that does have something to do with it. It is true that while the reviews seem to be getting better most the good points stressed seem to relate to the excursions or ports of call. I have the feeling that some of the cleanliness issues are getting better too. Maybe the fact that more people are going into this cruise knowing what to expect is also causing them to have a more positive experience and write a better review but when they actually rate things like food on the scale, they still only give low marks.
What really surprises me is the low score for entertainment. That was one area that I thought had been pretty good all along.
It is hard to figure out.
It is nice to hear a recent positive post like yours.
I returned to the PoAloha on Aug 26, after a five week vacation not knowing what to expect. Let's just say I was pleasently surprised.
Breakfast is now served in Palace, not Crossings, as it is easier access for people signing up for excursions, specialties, etc. The biggest change is that it is now a buffet, with two lines set up where the servers side stands are at night. The difference between Palace breakfast and Hukilau breakfast is the assigned seating. You are seated and have a waiter, who takes drink and egg orders. (Yes, egg orders.) They now offer Eggs Benedict and Sardough(sp?) in addition to scrambled, boiled, EggBeaters (TM), omelettes, and any thing else you want. The Buffet items are superior (I've heard) to Hukilou, with more variety.
Quick question about runny eggs; I've heard but I don't believe. This is because in the crew mess our eggs are way too dry.
Lunch is also served twice a week in Palace, Buffet style, with burgers and such grilled to order.
Every table is sat for dinner in both Palace and Crossings. You only have one waiter, not a front/back team like before. Therefore, no wait for tables, but dinner will take longer. This system will continue for the time being.
A point about crew signing off mid-week. With a large amount of Hawaiian crewmembers, many of them are going on vacation now, and they live on various islands. Why waste time and money making them stay on until Oahu and flying them back to Kona when they can leave on Thursday?
NCL now realizes that "80% Hawaiian Crew" was a major mistake. It's too easy for them to quit, since they are home. NCL is recruiting from further away. Hey, it kept me from quitting my first month.
If you ask a crew member how they are doing, don't be surprised if they all reply "Excellent." That response is mandatory, until guests get tired of bad acting.
In the middle of August, the Pride of Aloha's customer approval ratings following the second week of Festival at Sea was overall a 50%, numbers only George W. Bush could be envious of.
As of last week, the Pride of Aloha crack the 80% mark, bringing us within range of the rest of the NCL fleet. Management's stated goal is 90% by the end of October, though I feel Thanksgiving is more realistic.
Three NCL ships better watch out. We are in striking distance of the Sun, Wind, and Spirit. NOBODY wants to be the first to fall, but it's inevitable, we only need a 5% increase to pass all three.
These changes can be attributed to a number of reasons.
1-Christian Deneil, the Hotel Director. He doesn't mess around, and is very good at his job. Since he's come aboard, there has been a shipwide 30% increase in guest satisfaction.
2- Resteurant is almost fully staffed. Waiters are getting full days off for the first time ever, once every 3 weeks. More often, they will get a morning/afternoon or night off.
3-The 170$ service charge has been waived, increasing guest tipping, leading to better service.
4-We are further removed from all the cancerous elements and feeling of ill will associated with previous cruises(repo, inagural, Festival at Sea)
5-Minors aren't allowed in the crew bar anymore. Lets be honest, kids like to drink, which doesn't help you move fast in the morning.
The service charge will be reinstated, and will be rolled out fleetwide, according to President and CEO Colin Veitch, who was onboard this week. However, as of Jan 1,2005, the fee can be waived. Make no mistake, THIS IS NOT A TIP. Unlike International ships, where it goes into a pool which is distributed amongst the crew, this money goes into ship operations. Please continue to tip your waiters, cabin stewards, bartenders, spa girls, and butlers.
Along with Vietch were VP Fleet Op Bill Hamlin, VP Hawaii Op Bob Kritzman, VP HR George Chesney, VP F&B Peter Tobler, VP Quality Assurance Mohan Menon, and NCLA Dir. Hotel Ops, Michelle Dognon-Bertino. Make now mistake, this was a very important week. By Thursday, they all felt comfortable enough to leave early.
Thanks for all the updates. Now lets just hope that out of sight doesn't mean out of mind and that head quarters will continue to support the onboard staff and not try to save money by cutting corners.
What is your take on Pride of America? Do you think that NCL can reasonably expect to staff and get PO America up to scratch by its scheduled launch date?
I really enjoy reading notes from the crew. I'm glad things are getting better...especially since I'll be on the pride in January. I wish more crew members would write on this board. I bet some of them have some good information on each port .
The best I can see is that NCL is doing what other companies have been doing for sometime now... Providing the basic product, but you have to buy all the other stuff to make the product work.
I brought a new Canon Camcorder this year.... however I had to purchase a charger if I wanted be able to use the battery. (The darn thing came with a carry bag, plug, software, tapes etc... but no charger) All in all I ended up spending a additional $50.00 . And when I bought my laptop, I had to get some accessories and the insurance, my bill was $350.00 more than the basic cost of the computer.
Let's face it, if you were marketing a cruise, which price would you use....
$1000.00 pp or $930pp? NCL is going for the small print along with hundreds of other companies. I don't like it, I much rather have a "all in one" price, but I think that
"one price pays all cruises" are slowly becoming something of the past.. When I first started cruising, the ships had midnight buffets everynight..... not anymore. (at least not on the cruises I've taken in the past couple of years.)
" Please continue to tip your waiters, cabin stewards, bartenders, spa girls, and butlers."
NCL needs to clearly state the tip information in their reading material. In the paperwork and booklets I received for my cruise next week, no where is it stated at all that tips are expected. In the Welcome Aboard booklet I received with my documents, on page 10 under "How Much Should I Tip", this is exactly what the booklet says :
"A service charge of $10 per person per day will be added to your onboard account. For children ages 3 - 12 a $5 per person charge will be added to your onboard account:there is no charge for children under the age of three. This service charge will not be paid to the crew while onboard the vessel. As you may know, leave for most crew on cruise ships is unpaid. This service charge will be paid into a fund which will provide our crew with leave pay or continued earnings while on leave. This service charge is not a gratuity. Separately, a 15% gratuity is added for bar drinks and spa services".
Yet nowhere in the book are suggested tip amounts listed.
Had I not been on these boards and discovered that the crew is not paid from the "service charge", I would not have brought enough money on board with me to tip.
NCL needs to distinctly add suggested minimal tip amounts to make it absolutely clear that tips are not included AT ALL.