I just returned from the June 12th sailing of the Pride of Aloha. NCL is not so bad.
Service was okay, and it is true when encountered in corridors, crew regularly offered warm greetings, but short staffing.
Most passengers went in the Hukilau Cafe, offered strict diet foods buffet -- yeah the lines moved more quickly sometimes. The food itself was good. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner mainly in the Hukilau Cafe. The desserts were very good.
Need to get rid of Longboard Bar, sports bar and other bars. Always empty.
Stardust Theater, went there every night for shows.
The turquoise blue carpets with vibrant images of tropical fish, sea turtles, pineapples, shells, starfish and island flowers did help guide people find their cabin rooms.
The ship is decorated Hawaiian. Most places are clean. Seas were a little rough
Embarkation: We did receive our bags an hour after we checked in our cabin room.
Dining The ship has two main dining rooms: the Palace and Crossings, but most passengers prefer to go on Hukilau Cafe because it is more handy. Food was mostly good, would recommend the buffet.
For Breakfast we had eggs, omelets, French toast, bacons, sausage links, grits, pancakes, watermelons, coffee, orange juice and all. But the scrambled eggs and boiled eggs were awful and undercooked, Glad I didn't suffer Salmonella food poisoning.
For Lunch, we had salads, hot dogs, hamburger, baked fish, baked chicken, French fries and all. My nephew liked the pizza. They had pineapple and papaya, too.
For dinner, we had soup, salad, appetizers, pasta, mashed potatoes, watermelon, Tropical punch and all.
Hukilau Cafe a nice ship's buffet restaurant and it's open for three meals every day. The buffets were crowded and can meet nice people. Somewhat organized if only NCL get rid of Hukilau Lana'i Longboard Bar to expand the cafe, smokers need to go somewhere and smoke. I waited for tables to clean off by crews and there were few indoor seats..Yeah I had encounter long lines sometimes, but not bad. And once I did get all my food, sometimes difficult finding a place to sit. I wish to have a food tray so I can put my plate, cup, silverware, napkins and bowl of fruit on without have to get up from the chair 8 or 10 times to get something. The drink machines were still along the same wall where the line to get in was, meaning that people coming back for more drinks had to struggle past the people waiting in line to get more drinks. There was still an additional buffet line outside on the deck area. Slow bussing the tables to keep people moving and getting them seated. Few people came by to ask if we needed anything.
Yeah the ship's lunch and dinner buffets, held on the pool deck, good barbecues, hot dogs and hamburgers. Sometimes too windy and sometimes it rained, better to go to Hukilau Cafe. Everyone liked eating the buffet so as to be able to sit outside and eat when it is a sunny day.
Nice ice cream station in Hukilau Cafe. Yeah they offered vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, maca nut, kona coffee flavored ice cream and even have sprinkles now.
Italian-themed Kahili; Reservations and $15 per-person fee? I didn't go there anyway.
At Pacific Heights, offering sushi. But Hukilau Cafe offered sushi, too.
24 hour room service, they served sandwiches, hot dogs, salads and drinks.
The Appetizers - ohhhh, I had my first free tasting sushi with caviar topping. I always wanted to know what caviar tasted like, it was pretty cool.
Public Rooms -- The Library - I went there one time, it was empty.
The Stardust Theater -- I like one of the Pride of Aloha's elaborate evening shows -- the hula dancers. I really liked the Polynesian show and I wish to see more hula dance show. Rest of the six night were boring Broadway kinda shows, didn't care for "Runnin' Wild" and "Hey, Mr. Producer" with the Jean Ann Ryan Company.
Cabins need more improvement. Rooms are small. We had ice every day. we liked having the small fridge in the cabin. We ended up buying can of orange soda, water and Gatorade at the Wal-Mart in port and stashing it in our fridge.
Bathroom - Shower was too small. Shower gel provided sometimes, I rather have bar soap. Wish I brought my own bar soap. Rooms have the liquid soap and shampoo dispensers. Had towels everyday, but our cabin steward had a little attitude, stingy with extra towels and soaps.
Entertainment -- Pride of Aloha has useless 13 different bars and lounges. Smokers, yuck. Need those spaces to create more activities for the passengers.
Pride of Aloha's shore excursion program -- tours are too expensive. The shore excursions were overpriced, but I don't understand why we need to tip the bus drivers. For the disabled, NCL provided tours buses that had lifts. There were some problems with some tours. Some tours were all terrific. Next time, I will rent a car.
Kauai -- On the first day (Monday) we took the Journey To Waimea Canyon on our way to the Canyon on a tour bus, I saw few houses, but most of lands are used for sugar canes crop, flowers, cows, horses and trees. Fortunately none of our sightseeing was hampered by the weather -- we had good sunshine. Lovely Waimea Canyon lookout on Kuaui. We returned to the pier and catch the Wal-Mart shuttle. We had a good sense of humor about it. On the second day (Tuesday), we took the Scenic Hanalei Tour, saw waterfall and a river, it was okay.... I saw where Steven Spielberg filmed his Jurassic Park at... And also I saw prison there. The bus broke down, cause the driver can't fix the handicapped wheelchair lifter.... ahhh, wasted 30 minutes, and our ship might leave us if we come back late.
The Big Island -- Hilo & Kona -- Visiting Volcano National Park (Wednesday. We took the Volcanoes National Park Odyssey Tour which took us along a scenic ride that also stopped at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, workers there provided us to try out some chocolate dipped macadamia nut clusters. At 10:30 pm, that night the ship sailed around the Kilauea Volcano for a great view of the lava. Very nice and Beautiful scene of the fiery orange -- red lava flowing down the mountain to the ocean. In Kona (Thursday), many restaurants & shops. We took the Wild Dolphin Eco Adventure, the sea tour was terrible, we seen no dolphins.
Maui -- On Friday, we took the Pacific Paradise Luau. that was the best best time I ever had... The pig they cooked underground.... wow... and the food tasted good... Among the offerings were stirred fried rice, pineapple coleslaw, purple sweet potato, potato-macaroni salad, pork, some type of beef in type of teriyaki sauce and poi, fish, cake and some macadamia nut pies. I love it. We were one of 20 buses that made it to the luau, and there were 1000 people at this luau. Nice hula dancers!!! On Saturday, Maui was wonderful. We had a great visit at the Maui Ocean Center (nice Aquarium) and a beautiful tour of Iao Valley (Incredible mountains, waterfalls and beaches).
I would highly recommend Volcano National Park Odyssey Tour, Pacific Paradise Luau, Maui Ocean Center and Iao Valley, and Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour.... well worth the money
I wouldn't recommend Wild Dolphin Eco Adventure.
Fitness & Recreation Fitness Center on Deck 11 open 24 hours a day, I loved the treadmill.
Family Kid's Crew programs for kids ages 2 - 12 in the Kids Korner on Deck 7. Wonderful, my nephew enjoyed that, especially the video arcade onboard. My nephew loved the Kid's Corner, making new little friends, what a thrill those kids experienced.
Debarkation at Honolulu on Sunday: We had a 4:30 p.m. flight so signed up for the Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour, that was designed to get you to the airport by 2 p.m. (flights after 4 pm only could go on the tour). It was a good idea. It is better to carried your own bags off the ship, because the porter lost one of our bags. Pearl Harbor was so cool and then went through downtown Honolulu and saw the Iolani Palace.
Soon as we came home, Honolulu called and said they found the luggage, and will ship it to us.