NCL offers refunds on Pride of Aloha sailings (10/04/2004)
MIAMI -- Norwegian Cruise Line has quietly been allowing passengers to cancel cruises on the Pride of Aloha and receive a full refund.
“If we can’t allay their apprehension about cruising on the Pride of Aloha, we’ll allow them to cancel their cruise without penalty,” an NCL spokeswoman said. “We haven’t had that many people taking us up on the offer.”
The offer is good through the Pride of Aloha’s Oct. 17 cruise.
The Pride of Aloha has been grappling with service issues since it entered service as the only large U.S.-flagged and U.S.-crewed cruise ship.
Before our 9/19 cruise on the Pride of Aloha I spoke with the senior customer relations person at NCL and she gave us the option of receiving a full refund. We really wanted to take the cruise but were scared stiff by the message boards, so we talked it over carefully and finally distilled the argument to this question: "Can it really be as bad as people say, and even if it's not perfect, would that keep us from having a good time?" We wanted to see the islands, and this seemed to be the perfect way. Our spirit of adventure led us to decide that we would go and have a good time no matter what. We're very glad we did, because as you can see on my lengthy post of 9/27, we had a great time and didn't encounter any problems on this cruise. True, some of the food wasn't great, but we were well fed and literally had the time of our lives. I don't know if things are getting better or if the naysayers were exagerrating, it doesn't matter, but we would recommend this cruise to anyone who wanted to explore the Hawaiian islands. I might not recommend it to a cruise connoisseur who rates the entire experience on the basis of the quality of the food and service, but I look at it this way - this particular cruise is designed to be a fun and adventerous way to explore 4 islands in a week, and it more than succeeds in that mission. The food was good enough for me, and the friendliness and enthusiasm of the crew more than made up for any minor lapses in service. I kind of feel sorry for people who elected to receive the refund.