My wife and I booked a cruise on the Pride of Aloha on April 9th. My wife has been on many cruises but this was my first, and now my last after this experience. When we first boarded, they lost our luggage for 5 hours. After much research on our own, we found out that security had it below because they thought there was a bottle of liquor in the bag, (there wasnt) They were exteremely rude and made us carry it up to our cabin. We then went to our cabin to find the bed was a futon!
We then decided to go to dinner, being delayed due to the above baggage fiasco. There were only about 10 people still in the restaurant. However, they made us wait 20 minutes until being seated because they said there were no tables were available? (The restaurant was nearly empty) The couple next to us advised they were made to wait 2 hours. When the food arrived, it was cold. And awful.
Overall the attitude of the staff was very rude, and even though they did not allow you to bring any alcohol on board, their choices were very limited. One poor fellow I ran into from Scotland had his special scotch confiscated, he was saving for his anniversary.
Needless to say we got off at the first port in Kauai after one sleepless night. We salvaged the rest of our vacation by staying at Marriott resorts and flying Aloha which were both wonderful. One last postscript, they would not let us park our rental car within 1/2 mile of the ship in Kauai. When I asked how we were going to take our bags to the car, they replied, "not my problem" and since I will never set foot on a cruise ship again, it is not mine now either.
Boy Steve. I will say I admire you for sticking to your guns. You said you were unhappy with the ship & service and so you got off the ship and had the vacation you had been dreaming about.
I will be the first to say "I'm sorry" on behalf of NCL-America. The somewhat tragic truth about this is that what you mention are service problems and this ship is one of the few in the entire cruise industry staffed solely with U.S. citizens. It has been reported here in CruiseMates and elsewhere that one should not expect the same style of service on these ships as you get on other cruise ships.
I personally feel the non-U.S. crewpeople are more suited to service positions than "Americans," - and especially younger generation ones or ones from certain parts of the country.
I will say I met some wonderful crewmembers and staff when I was on Pride of Aloha, but the ones I met were often older, or U.S. minorities. Some of the less than desirable ones I encountered were the "just turned working age" middle-class Americans who seemed to treat us more like they were on the cruise with us rather than being there to serve us.
Steve, don't think NCL is not aware of these problems. One (or two) bad crewmember can spoil the whole experience. Would you believe there are not nearly as many bad apples as there used to be?
I would encourage you to listen to your wife and try cruising again, but on a different ship. We refer to NCL-America as a great way to see Hawaii, but not the typical cruise experience.
Paul is completely right. Although it seems many of the problems that originally existed when NCL or NCLA started sailing the islands have been resolved there still are things that continue to pop up. NCL and NCLA are not the same by anymeans mostly because of the all American crew. Again, I am not blasting our wonderful country but there does seem to be some problems with this. Do not judge all cruising by what you experienced a few weeks ago. As Paul said, sailing NCLA is the best way to see the islands for the least amount of $$ but does not give you a true cruising experience. NMnita
It is indeed required that they have an all US crew onboard. They are flagged in the US so they can sail solely between the island ports of Hawaii (all US waters) which means they have to have an all US crew.
It is the "price you pay" in order to be able to offer people such an itnerary without having to sail 5 days from the Mexico or Canada or take a 36-hour (each way) jaunt to Fanning island in the middle of your cruise.