I just returned from the inaugural cruise on the Pride of Aloha on July 4th. It was my first cruise and I had read the reviews which reported negatively on the food and service. I did not have high expectations. I was perfectly content with the buffets, and the food was adequate. I never went hungry, but I did not go on the cruise for the food. I wanted the opportunity to see four Hawaiian islands at a reasonable price, and that is exactly what I got. We had a blast!! We loved the ship. The excursions on the islands were so much fun. You must try the ziplining adventure in Kauai. It was the best time we had all week. If you are looking for fantastic food and service, you might be disappointed. Otherwise, I think you will have a great time. I know we did.
I just returned from the Pride of Aloha July 4th cruise. It tenders in Kona, Hawaii. We were the first group off the boat and we got off at 7:40 a.m. You will not be off in time for the early excursion. I also booked my tour on my own in Kona and was very nervous that I would be late. As it was, I was five minutes early as mine started at 7:45 a.m. NCL gives their excursions the first tickets off the tenders, but I was in line at 6:45 a.m. to make sure I had the first ticket off (after the NCL excursion people).
How adventurous do you need to be to go on the zipwire excursion? How high is the wire? Are there any other excursions that you recommend? Also, how dressed up did most people get for the formal night? PLMK
I booked some tours on my own and some through NCL, depending on whether there was a pickup at the pier.
Monday, I went ziplining through Kauai Backcountry Adventures (which I booked on my own). It was the most fun we had all week long. Tuesday we went four-wheeling on Kipu Ranch in Kauai (through NCL). This was my second most fun adventure. Wednesday, we hiked 6 miles on a lava field and saw lava running right under our feet (through NCL). This was exciting but tiring. Thursday we went kayaking and snorkeling in Kona, Hawaii (booked on my own through Hawaii Activities). Friday we went on the Atlantis Submarine in Maui (through NCL). This was our least favorite thing we did because it required little energy and we were more into the active excursions. Lastly, on Saturday, we did the 38 mile downhill bike ride from Mt. Haleakala (which I booked on my own through Maui Downhill Bikes). This was very dangerous and exciting.
You do need to be adventurous. It is like jumping off a cliff. The wires start on
the top of a mountain and each wire gets a little lower until the last one where you
feel like your feet are dangling just above a mountain stream. It is fabulous. I
would highly recommend this excursion. I booked it directly through Kauai
BackCountry Adventures and saved money (NCL was charging about $50.00 more).
As far as formal night is concerned, some people got extremely dressed up with
their long gowns and some people just wore very nice dresses. We chose not to
do formal night and just ate in the cafeteria in our shorts since we had been out all]
day four-wheeling and did not feel like getting that dressed. The options are there
for all kinds of people. They did take very nice pictures in the lobby for the cruisers
that were dressed up. They turned out very nice.
When you booked ziplining through Kauai Backcountry adventures on your own, did they pick you up from the pier, or did you have to get to them on your own? Any info you can give me will be helpful as I tried to book this through the ship and was told it was already sold out for the 8/15 sailing.
I had to get a taxi to the Kauai Backcountry Adventures. It was about $15.00 each way. If you go the first day, you might want to just get a rental car and do some extra sightseeing after the ziplining. The Twin Falls is very close to Kauai Backcountry Adventures and I heard it was beautiful, but we didn't have a car so we couldn't see it.
I'm sure you will enjoy the ziplining. It was the best excursion we did all week. Can't wait to do it again. Enjoy!
My husband and I have a cruise planned for September 26th and after reading the reviews on the Pride of Aloha are terrified. It sounds like the worst cruise ship possible. We booked through AAA and thought they would keep track of the excellence of cruise ships like they do motels and hotels. Doesn't look like it from what we have been reading.
We would like to know if this cruise line has improved since it's maiden voyage which sounded like a trip you don't want to remember. We put our overpriced fee on a charge card and wonder if we should try to get it refunded.
We would appreciate hearing from anyone with advice. This is our first cruise and hate to have it a disaster.
In response to your query about Pride of Aloha.
Get your money back and try another ship.
We went on 8/15-8/22. State rooms too small. We had two teens with us, and were really cramped. Had to climb over people to get to the bathroom.
Free style dining a disaster--2 hour wait to be seated. 24 hr. buffet awful. Same food over and over, and runs out of things often. Does not stay open for 24 hours, either. Ate dinner once there, and the food was worse than the stuff in a high school cafeteria.
Half the staff quit the day we boarded, and as far as I understand, the problem has not been rectified at all. They hire day workers to take up the slack while at port.
Small ship, only one small shop to buy trinkets. "Trinkets" being "Tommy Bahama" merchandise and some racks of cheap jewelry, and so on.
The pro golf shop looked interresting; they will book your tee-time for you.
The staff that is aboard is pleasant under difficult circumstanses. But they are overworked. One person often has 15 state rooms to clean a day. Way too much.
Not a pleasant way to spend your hard earned money or your much needed vacation.
We just returned from the August 15-22, 2004, sailing on the Pride of Aloha. This cruise necessitated a lot of patience for both the passenger and onboard employee. Our mealtime experiences demonstrated a tremendous amount of time waiting in line, just to reach the food served for breakfast and lunch. After reaching the provisions, our attempt to find a table, clean or dirty, to enjoy our meal, was another hurdle that had to be mounted. Dinner was even worse! Here we had up to a three (3) hour wait just to get a table. Upon arrival to our Cabin, we found it to be in a state of disarray. Our beds were unmade. Our clothes storage facilities contained ladies intimate apparel from a previous customer. We realized that they were facing start-up difficulties but this only became public knowledge after we, the passengers, demanded information. It also became evident that prior cruises on the Pride of Aloha had experienced the same problems. Therefore, NCL's Corporate Office already had beforehand knowledge of the difficulties that awaited our sailing. We were not given the privilege of this information in advance. We were left in the dark, as were all other passengers. Knowledge obtained was through word of mouth. One of the most important aspects of cruising is mealtime. The Pride of Aloha was our first opportunity with "freestyle" dining. Our experience onboard this ship did not leave us with a good "taste" for such a
new concept. We are sure that meals were slowed down due to the fact that
they did not have enough employees onboard to accommodate this innovative
idea. Our biggest grievance with this trip was that we were LEFT IN THE DARK to try to get food. We felt as though we had to BEG for our meals that had been purchased prior to our sail date. We avoided The Crossings and Palace Restaurants during breakfast and lunch, due to the enormous time that had to be allocated towards obtaining a seat. As it turned out, we were not eating dinner until 11PM. We also noticed that many tables were unoccupied. This further verified the fact that they were
lacking in sufficient employees to handle passengers of such magnitude.
According to our final check-out bill, we had to pay a fee for services outlined in the Welcome Aboard Brochure on page 10, under the heading of "How Much Should I Tip?" We considered eating "freestyle", as did many other passengers on the cruise, as one of these services. THIS NEVER HAPPENED!!!
The rest of the cruise was delightful. Evening entertainment was exceptional.
We enjoyed the side trips that we were able to book. The staff that was on the ship was doing their best, under such trying circumstances.
As of today we cancelled our cruise with Pride of Aloha and AAA authorized it. I read bad reviews for the past 2 months and just couldn't go through with this cruise. We really feel bad about it, but are just going to Honolulu and do a land vacation for now. Maybe in the future we will attempt another cruise. We tried our last cruise to Hawaii in September 2001 and the complete cruise line went bankrupt so we lost out then too. Hopefully, everything will get better in time.
I am pleased to hear that the message boards have saved you from one "Bad Experience!" My bride of 40 years and myself celebrated by going to Hawaii and taking a cruise to celebrate our anniversary. First time to Hawaii, first cruise. Hawaii is wonderful as are the people of the islands. The cruise was a VERY BAD experience. I have tried to give them a chance to make things right by writting to them and providing them with a complete spreadsheet of the problems which we encountered from day one only to receive, today, an offer of $350.00 credit each if we sailed with them again. Worthless offer as once bitten....... We reserved and paid for a room with a balcony which we did NOT get. When we asked for a ships credit for the difference we were told that it would not happen. Wake up calls by their (so called) automated system didn't happen and we missed several breakfast meals only to get to the buffet to see that there was no food left. That was probably a good thing as we did get to eat when we left ship at each port and had good foord that way. The meals on the ship were also a Bad Experience... 2.5 hours standing in lines and another 2 hours to complete the meal with very poor, over cooked food. We loved Hawaii and made the best of it by spending as much time as possible off of the ship.
I'm sorry, Hank, to hear that you had such a bad experience on the Pride of Aloha. My husband and I took a direct flight to Honolulu and stayed at the Hyatt Regency hotel and had a balcony with a beautiful view of the ocean. We stayed 8 days and it was truly wonderful. We have been married 46 years and this was my first time to Hawaii. My husband went while a sailor in the Korean War. I can't thank CruiseMates enough for this website because it saved us a lot of money and grief. We saw the Pride of Aloha when it docked in Honolulu. We talked to a couple from England who just got off the boat and it didn't sound like things were much better. This was October 3rd so I think these problems haven't been addressed by NCL. I have learned my lesson and from now on, I will check these websites before making any long trips anywhere. I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks!!
Thank you all for your honesty...I'm researching now to go to Hawaii, loving cruising, but sure learned fast what ship not to take.
I'm 62 and will be traveling solo...does anyone have any ideas as to how to combine a great ship with a decent amount of island visiting?
I feel better reading about what to avoid, but am lost as to w hat TO do