I understand that the Pride Of America has been repaired after sinking at the
drydock in Germany. I'm sure that after ALOHA'S bad launch last summer, the
AMERICA will try to avoid the pitfalls that the ALOHA had. You should have a
great time....not to worry!
You're booked on a brand new ship just out of the shipyard. It will be immaculate, but it will have problems. EVERY new ship has problems. The people that booked the inaugral QM2 voyage experienced problems. Not only that, the staffing issues, will not as severe as onboard the Aloha, will exist.
It's simple math. Take the best employees on the Aloha, put them on a bigger ship, and surround them with new employees. I will be there only because I want to be part of history, but I'm not looking forward to streamlining 700 new employees.
My friends at the NCL America Office tell me that they are hopelessly behind on hiring and training staff for the Pride of America. It appears that this ship will be even a worse disaster that Pride of Aloha.
Get ready to apply for those refunds.............
I just got off the the Pride of Aloha and wrote a review - it was just fine, most of the problems have been corrected.
But you will likely see the same start up problems with the Pride of America when it begins sailing. They are having problems keeping staff on the ships - if the Aloha is still not fully staffed. The American is supposed to be bigger and I will imagine that they will see the same issues unless and until they are fully staffed.
How long after the inaugural sailing are you going?
I highly doubt many of the Aloha staff would be interested in moving to the America, if they are even still with NCL by that time.
Having gone through what they went through on the inaugural Aloha sailings, why would they choose to torture themselves by going through it again on the America? If they are still with NCL, I'd think they would rather stay on the smaller ship that has had most of the problems corrected instead of going on the newer and bigger ship and have to deal with start up again.
After seeing the problems encountered with the first ship (after 6 months still not up to standards) and hearing they are so far behind on even finding staff for the second ship, I would plan to wait at least a year before even considering trying Pride of America.
A Hawaiian cruise is not cheap. Its a shame to gamble away your hard earned money when NCL Senior Management just cant seem to get it together.
I've got to agree with you. I also wonder about booking the PO Aloha for several months around the time when the PO America launches. If NCL does shift a large number of staff from the Aloha to the America the Aloha will also likely be staffed with new poorly trained people at that point too.
Thats very interesting hearing of the hiring problems at NCLA. I have just returned from visiting my brother and his fiance in Hawaii. She works in HR for NCLA and was telling us about how they are currently hiring enought people to fully utilize 2 Coast Guard training facilities, one in Hawaii and one in Maryland. The employees are then sent off to ships in the international fleet for on the job training. She also said they fully expect to have 90% of the crew for the America in place by late March when final fitting is scheduled.
I'm not casting character dispursions against Bruce, I'm a firm believer in everyone being entitled to their own opinion, but in the past I have checked out facts behind what him and others have said. Some have been right and some have been wrong. Bottom line check your facts and make up your own mind.
You should check your facts too.
I worked for NCL through the first fiasco.
They told us then that POA would be 100% manned with American crew months before she had an American Flag. Somehow it didnt happen. Not even close.
Did your relatives tell you how many crew those 2 CG training facilities can process in a week? In theory its about 100. But they have never even come close to that number. Between now and march they could possibly process an absolute maximum of about 1600 new crew. They need 1000s more than that. Time has already run out for them. Its going to be another NCL disaster coming up.
Then did they tell you about turnover numbers? All three America cruise lines operating in Hawaii over the past 20 years had 70% to 80% turnover every 6 months. POA has been no exception. That means for every hundred they hire and train now, only 20 or 30 will be left in March.
Pride of America needs nearly 1,000 crew to operate. That means they need to hire and train over 3,000 crew to keep 1,000. They havent come even close to that number, with only 4 months to go.Thats just for starting up. Then they need about 700 relievers to cover vacations and resignations for the first three months. To get 700 relievers who will stay, they need to hire and train at least 2,000 more.
Over the past year they have hired and trained less than 1,000 new crew for Pride of America. They need 4,000 more in the next 4 months. Do you think they will make it?
Now lets assume for a moment that some sort of miracle occurs and they manage to find enough people to man the new ship.
NCL America Managing Director Robert Kritzman plans to take 40% of the crew from Pride of Aloha and place them on Pride of America. That means that Pride of Aloha starts all over again with 40% new crew. It took them 6 months with about 30% new crew to bring the standards of the cruise up to barely acceptable. Now they will have an even bigger challenge.
Even worse, Pride of America will have 60% new crew. They dont stand a chance.
Should I gamble my hard-earned cruise dollars on an experiment that has already failed once and looks to be even worse the second time around? With NCLs track record, you will find me safe, comfortable, and well-served on RCCL. And the 10 day RCCL cruise to Hawaii will cost me less than the 7 day NCL disaster.
I don't know if the Pride of America launch will be a disaster or not ,but I do know (after following the whole PO Aloha mess closely for the last 5 months or so ) that NCL management seems to have trouble facing up to reality in these situations and seems to have a habit of burying their heads in the sand when faced with problems.
From the early trainning cruises for the American crew (on the then Norwegian Sea), through the transitional California coast cruises of the newly reflagged Pride of Aloha and continuing with the first all-Hawaii cruises, it was pretty obvious to many people who travelled on the ship that NCL had serious problems to address. Still, NCL kept up the official company line that everything was fine and agents in the customer service department continued to tell callers that they knew of no problems with the service on that ship.
I don't know what will happen when POAmerica is launched, but I do know better than to beleive everything NCL says about how well everything is going and how they have the whole staffing situation under control. For the sake of those who book onto those early cruises, I hope things go more smoothly than they did on the early Aloha cruises but I too will be spending my hard earned vacation dollars elsewhere and waiting with some interest to hear the reviews on those early cruises.
I can't tell the future so I can't say for sure what the July sailing on PO America will be like but I do think it is a slightly more risky proposition than your average cruise.
I guess you have to ask yourself how important the cruise experience is to you and how willing you are to put up with a sub standard cruise if it should happen.
What i'm getting at is, if you are someone who cruises twice a year and will have money left to take another nice vacation 5 or 6 months later you might be willing to chance it. If you have been saving for 2 or 3 years for the vacation of a lifetime you might want to put your hard earned money and your special occasion in the hands of a different cruise line (or at least on a different NCL ship).
"She also said they fully expect to have 90% of the crew for the America in place by late March when final fitting is scheduled."
A lot of the problems on the POA were and stil are crew members that jump ship before their sign up time has elapsed. At every port, we saw people who got on the ships to do work and got off at night.
Staffing was better on my 10/24 cruise, but many of the employees told us that they are still having problems with people leaving the ships after they are hired and before their 4 or 5 months are up that they initially sign up for.
Unfortunately another crew member is right in one thing,,, an American flagged cruise line will probably not work. The younger generation today has been spoiled compared to most other countries. Not really a bad thing, except when it comes to working lang and hard for bad wages just like our parents did.
Where he's wrong, is in quoting the figures he did in his reply to me. I dont doubt he was unhappy with his employment at NCLA and probably with good cause. But, I am a labor attorny and use employment figures all of the time. The frightening figures quoted may add up on paper and in peoples minds, but they do not add up to a very realistic view. Most economists and human resources professionals would look at those figures and throw them out and start analyzing everything from scratch. They just don't add up. Throwing figures around like that was an excellent tool that worked really well in the last election...but unfortunately not realistic.
Another crewmember, file your time at NCLA as a learning experience and move on. It's obvious you're a bright young person with a lot of passion.There are problems with any new venture...especially this one, but to not support it because of start up problems......
Just a closing thought.....maybe the problem doesn't lie solely with the poor performance of the cruise line (although it is obvious) But maybe we as a society have become so spoiled, so ready to sue, so ready to blame everyone else for our short tempers that we have forgotten how to relax and roll with the punches.......
There is 5 months of history now for the POA. I hope NCL has learned a few things along the way. One thing I hope they learned is not to sell out the ship until they have a few sailings under there belt, and staff and service where it needs to be. Strart with maybe a max of 50 to 60 % full capacity. This will increase the passenger/crew ratio. If they don't have a full crew then they should take even less passengers. They may loose money, but they may get more returning passengers for future cruises. And most of all we won't have to hear all the complaints over and over again.
i think the idea of running the first several cruises with a below capacity passenger load is a good one. Based on their past actions I doubt it is something NCL will do, but then I hear there have been many changes in management at NCL so maybe the new lot will be more willing to give up a little in profit for the first few months of the PO America venture, in order to avoid some of the problems that occured with PO Aloha.
I hope that the America launch is better managed than the Aloha and gives all the passengers from the very beginning better value for their money but I personnally wouldn't want to bet my vacation on it.
I have to agree with Anothercrwmember in at least some regard, PoAmerica will be wrought with problems, just as PoAloha was/is. However, most of the Aloha problems came from poor management that was trained in the International style, that of expecting employees to do anything to keep this pittling little job because it's better than anything they have going in their home countries.
The Management on the America will be the exceptional Aloha crew members who earn promotions and bring with them a managerial style that works with Americans.
This is all a moot point if approval ratings for Aloha don't jump 12% between now and march. If that doesn't happen, do you really believe NCL will roll out a brand new ship for a dysfunctional product, when they could simply and cheaply insert it into the International Fleet? The real survivors will be the crew members who can demonstrate they deserve a job on the other side, pioneering in the truest sense of American spirit.
The goal is in sight, however. We have improved dramatically since late August when approval was below 50%. Another twelve is nothing compared to what some of us have been through.
That being said, I will entertain job offers from anyone interested in an employee with a bachelor's degree who routinely works over seventy hours a week with no day off...