Was reading a weekly travel trade newspaper this morning and saw an article about the training of the Pride Of America crew. The article looked a little unusual at first then I saw at the top of the page in small print that it was an "advertisement". Interesting.....
It appears that NCL/NCLA is trying to do some damage control and is paying big bucks to deal with Travel Agent concerns about the staffing of their new ship the Pride Of America.
For some reason they think that travel agents have some concern about crew training.... Interesting, I wonder what would cause them to think this?????
Bruce, that's a very good question. Do you suppose that it may be that TAs don't trust NCL anymore than the rest of us do? Could it be that NCL America's MO is based on Pride of Aloha? Could it be that we're all from Missouri? We'll have to figure it out together.
Yep....it's one of those marketing jabs that the pr folks want you to suck up.But think about it....NCL isn't the only company to market like that after screwing up. Most big corporations amrket the same way. Believe me we know we screwed up and are working to fix it. How successful we will be will depend on time. It does seem funny though that if the TA's dont trust us, that we sail almost every ship at over 95% capacity.
What do you have against people from Missouri? Please tell me you're not saying we're all ignorant, becasue that would be unfortunate, coming from someone who has always tried to see both sides of this issue.
I don't think NCL agrees with your statement "we know we screwed up". I haven't heard of one instance of a refund being given to a passenger who had booked what they thought would be a cruise of a lifetime in the Hawaiian Islands only to discover they got something very different.
I'm sure some of your passengers saved money for months, I wouldn't be suprised if some went into debt to take a cruise on the "luxury" ship Pride Of Aloha., only to discover it was a work in progress.
I invite you to join myself and the media as we greet the first passengers that depart the Pride Of America here in Honolulu.
Also it is a pleasure to host here in Pearl Harbor the USS Missouri, The Might MO!
"I don't think NCL agrees with your statement "we know we screwed up". I haven't heard of one instance of a refund being given to a passenger who had booked what they thought would be a cruise of a lifetime in the Hawaiian Islands only to discover they got something very different."
I agree with you here Bruce. I have followed the POA saga from the first west coast cruise (actually even reading posts from cruises before the ship was reflagged but was sailing with the American crew in training). I don't remeber a time when NCL (or should I say NCLA) admitted that they had screwed up. I do remember during the early POA cruises when the cruise boards were full of complaints from disillusioned cruisers, reading a post from someone who had been speaking to customer relations and still been told that 'we aren't aware of any problems on the ship.
Yes, I believe NCL did stop charging the 'resort fee' at some point, no doubt when it appeared that the customers were about to riot, but I do not ever remember NCL stepping up to the plate and admiting, sorry folks we really blew this and we owe you all an apology.
I also recall a post on another board where in the midst of what was obviously a staffing shortage NCL continued to post that everything was a-okay the crew was just 'tired'.
At this point NCL can do all the damage control they want. I think it is going to be a long time before those burned by the POA fiasco will trust anything NCL says, again.
It is as if someone said, I lied to you last month, I lied to you last week, heck, I lied to you yesterday, why won't you believe what I'm telling you now?
I dont know if there have been refunds or not, but I doubt it. I try to see both the good and bad in this company. I defend the good when someone attacks without researching, and accept the truth when someone points out where they screwed up. I will be there when the ship docks for the first time as I am sailing with her from the time she leaves the shipyard until she docks in Hawaii. For the record Dalwhitt... I didn't think you were slamming Missouri, I love Missouri. It's a wonderful place to live! I have a house on the Cuivre River and love the 4 seasons, hunting, fishing, and the Ozark Mountains........
Will this or any big company admit they screwed up, probably not. I remember a problem I had with ATT Wireless last year. I caught them in a big lie and had the paper to prove it. Would they admit they were wrong? Nope, and they lost a customer because of it. So while I may not agree with your general assesments of our company I can relate......
Speaking of NCL's hiring for POA, there was an NCL ad in the employment section of our local newspaper (New Orleans) advertising a job fair later this week. It specifically mentioned POA as the ship NCL is hiring for during this local job fair.
The Inaugural cruise has been has changed to the cruise from Miami to California. What was supposed to be the inaugural has been changed to a "fam" cruise for TA's and guests. What I think the marketing folks are trying to is to show the travel industry that they arent going to have another fiasco like the launch of the Aloha. Most of us that are putting in the long painful hours getting this ship built dont quite agree with the move but what are ya gonna do???? We are proud of what we are putting together and are eager to let the traveling publc see what a beautiful ship she really is.
I know this is just me saying bad things about NCL(A) again but why did it take them till now to decide they needed to do this fam cruise? Why let people book this cruise for their vacation and now decide suddenly that they need this week to show off the ship to the industry?
Does anyone at NCL think more than two minutes ahead? Does anyone care when they inconveinience their customers?.
American Pride, I commend you for the pride that you have in your work. That type of work ethic is the only thing that will save NCLA. I wish YOU well, but I still have serious doubts about the people running this operation. Gardencat is right. NCLA has already ticked off many people. They really shouldn't have done that to people who likely were booked on Pride of America last year, then had to put it off until this year, and now finds themselves kicked off again so that NCLA can brag about something that they frankly need to be humble about. If I was booted off Pride of America inaugural for the second time, I would never EVER under any circumstance sail on any NCL product ever again. This isn't baseball, and two strikes are enough here.
I hear both of you.....can't oppose what seems to be obvious.....I think when they ( the marketing weenies) look at the books and see how good reservations throuout the company really are, they think they can start playing games because the money is flowing well. Short sighted thinking and greed caused Enron & Worldcom. Don't get me wrong I love this company, but as with all big companies sometimes you have to question the logic.........
I wonder why the POA continues to sail 98% capacity week after week? Could it possibly be that everything & everyone is beginning to settle down... We should all know that with new ventures there are going to be consequences. I mean, the NCL Star had issues when it first started sailing in Hawaii also, & that wasn't even with a US crew. It's been almost a year already, you guys really need to get over this POA bashing. IMHO, I do not believe that the PAM will experience the same issues as the POA, due to the fact that the delivery was not rushed & the crew has been training for a long time.
The ship has always been at 98% capacity. NCL has no competition. The Pride of Aloha is the only ship sailing a 1 week itinerary of the islands without having to spend 3 days sailing to a foreign port. It has nothing to do with people liking the ship but rather they have no other choice. Hawaii land vacations are the highest they've ever been also.
"We should all know that with new ventures there are going to be consequences.... I do not believe that the PAM will experience the same issues as the POA, due to the fact that the delivery was not rushed & the crew has been training for a long time."
Let's hope that you are right however I think there is no way to know this except wait and see.
One thing that I don't think has changed, since the POA launch ,is NCL's lack of respect for their customers. I also doubt that the company's integrity or honesty has undergone a major change so... I am not able to believe anything they say. They have already cancelled one of the early sailings inconveniencing the customers booked on that cruise.
Maybe everything is going just fine in the POAmerica prep but, if there are problems, I'm sure NCL will not be admitting it.
Anyone who is willing to gamble their vacation dollar on this is free to do so. Maybe gambling on the trip will make up for not being able to gamble once they are in Hawaii!
Why is it that whenever someone speaks the truth it is called bashing. I only post things that are important to what is going on right now ... or when someone brings up something from my cruise that isn't true. It is perfectly legitimate to criticize NCL for kicking paying customers off the inaugural cruise, when those same people were denied an inaugural cruise when the ship sank a year ago. People who were dedicated and patient enough to wait a year to get on the inaugural, should be rewarded, not kicked off the ship. If someone can't see that ... well, there's a job waiting for you in NCL customer relations.
"I haven't heard of one instance of a refund being given to a passenger who had booked what they thought would be a cruise of a lifetime in the Hawaiian Islands only to discover they got something very different."
And Gardencat wrote...
" I don't remeber a time when NCL (or should I say NCLA) admitted that they had screwed up."
Both of these posts are from March 2005. However I disagree with you. I recall Colin Veitch clearly admitting there were problems and records of compensation to passengers. Check out the article linked below dated Oct.7, 2004. I think MSNBC can be considered a reliable source, and it states in part...
NCL went into emergency response mode in mid-August. Letters of apology began appearing under cabin doors, and the company is offering former Pride passengers a 20 percent discount on a future NCL cruise, has pledged to reimburse half of the mandatory service charge to those who have already sailed, and, for now, has suspended the policy for new cruisers. The ship even has a new captain and director of hotels, and the line promises that “senior management” is aboard every sailing to oversee the overhaul.
"It's been quite challenging," Veitch said. "We’ve had teething problems. But that’s what they are; there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the product or the crew that we have.” He asserted that a barrage of new training and hiring efforts are beginning to take hold. “We’re not satisfied yet, but we're on a steady upward trend for the last four cruises, based on passenger surveys.”
The root of the problem, he said, is the huge chore of building a new crew from scratch. Unlike most start-ups, which draw fleetwide on experienced crew members from all over the world, the Pride of Aloha was obliged to hire green recruits from the United States alone. That was part of the deal when NCL won the right to loop between Oahu, Kauai, the Big Island and Maui week after week without ever touching an international port.
It is so easy to criticize when you did got your apology and compensation. What about those who haven't, and those who a 20 percent discount on ANOTHER cruise is impossible because they can't afford a Second-In-A-Lifetime-Cruise.
If you look at my postings, I only do so when it is relevant to what is going on today, not nine months ago.
I post when a lawsuit is filed and respond when others comment on it.
I post when I see that NCL has booted people off an inagural cruise for the second time, because that is wrong. How others are not upset about that one is a mystery to me.
I never post anymore when someone comes back and says what a great time they had on POA.
Please tell me what's wrong with that?
I've sailed once and I have two more cruises planned, so I have moved on. But I will keep to my promise to monitor the situation and be the anti-NCL voice here to counter those who think this cruise line can do no wrong.
It was in recent news printed 2 weeks ago that NCL was being sued for 1.5 million by travel agents for a charted cruise that happened last August. If people want to talk about it I don't know why anyone would care about it. If you're not interrested then scroll past the post.
Some people's Pride of Aloha experience had been so bad that they are still talking about it 9 months later. They are upset that and feel they did not get fair restitution. If you were not on the charter I don't think it's fair to comment on what their experience was or was not. We sailed Princess last year and when our ship was 6 hours late getting into the pier we received $300 future travel credit. Those on the Pride of Aloha endured A WEEK of running out of food, dirty and uncleaned cabins, 2-3 hour waits for dinners each night, horrendous service and got the same restitution.
Surely some here must realize that going to Hawaii is a once in a lifetime experience for a lot of travelers. Some cannot afford to keep giving a cruise line second, third, and fourth chances. I think it is fair that if they pay 4* prices they should get 4* quality. We will see how this all unfolds but I can understand a traveler's disappointment. It is an issue of getting what you paid for, whether it be a cruise or hotel stay. I don't agree with lawsuits either but in this case it appears these travelers were not given fair restitution. The best solution would have been to give these travelers money back, as hotels do for bad stays, but this hasn't happened.
I guess we have a difference of opinion about what constitutes 'admiting you screwed up'.
To me, stating:
"We’ve had teething problems. But that’s what they are; there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the product or the crew that we have'
and giving the customers a 20% credit, which they can only make use of by spending more money with your line, does not amount to admitting you 'screwed up'.
It amounts to admitting there were a few minor problems and making a token gesture at compensation.
I agree with whoever said that for some, who saved for a long time to take this trip, the 20% off a future cruise is virtually useless.