Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by Family Vacation: Pride of Aloha - Hawaii
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Pride of Aloha - Hawaii
We thoroughly enjoyed the Pride of Aloha cruise, except for the beginning and the end. NCL is making sorting out erroneous billings onboard the ship so difficult that I will definitely think twice about booking on NCL again! Why on earth should it take 4 - 6 weeks to determine whether to remove erroneous shore excursions that were never requested and never taken? Well, it does, they claim. They don't even return phone calls or answer their phones, so you can't get any status on the claim, even though they give a claim number.
On to the cruise. It started with the worst plane ride ever, and I can only believe that NCL could have controlled this horrible situation had they wanted too. Out of an entire 757 full of cruisers, we didn't find a single family that received seats together. Infants separated from their parents, mothers crying. My 5 year old was seated by total strangers. Kids in charge of the exit rows. Try as they could, the flight attendants couldn't sort it out, so More off we flew. I was able to move my child, but many families were very distraught. Not the best start to the cruise.
The cruise was very nice. Loved all the ports. The ship was very nice and well appointed. As in all the other reviews, service was SLOW! Often dinners took 2 - 2 1/2 hours. It was very hard to eat dinner and attend the shows, because of how long dinners took. We felt the quality of the food was excellent, with the exception of beef at the buffet or BBQs. Ship policy is that beef must be well done at these events. It was hard and mostly not edible.
We started and ended our cruise in Maui. The cruise is organized around those who board in Honolulu, which made thing less organized for us. The "farewell dinner and show" was our first night, the life jacket drill was during one of our shore excursions.
We had purchased a post-cruise package to stay at the Sheraton in Maui. We were looking forward to two days there. We planned to disembark early, head to the hotel so we could maximize our time there. Our flights were late the next night, also through NCL. However, NCL at your service again, only provided rental cars for 24 hours, so instead of enjoying our extra day at the nice hotel, we only were able to enjoy the Maui airport. It's not that thrilling, I suggest you skip it. We looked into extending our car rental (and the nice Hotel Manager on the cruise ship confided that NCL rate with Aloha is only $16 per day) but Aloha charges the actual NCL customer $80 for an extra day. $60 for an extra hour. Don't be late!
As for our billing problem, we received our room bill at 2am the day of disembarkation. We saw immediately that they had charged twice for the same shore excursion. We went to breakfast at about 7:15, planning to talk to the credit desk after. There are very short hours for the credit desk. However, breakfast took 2 hours. Why? WE are not sure. We didn't order anything special or lots of courses. The restaurant wasn't crowded. The food just never came, and never came... Very frustrating. So then we went to the credit desk and missed their hours by 15 minutes. Sorry, can't help you. Call NCL. Did that the next day, but all they tell you is that they will open a claim and it will be 4 - 6 weeks before they decide if they will do anything about it. Basically, they can't solve the problem. It's been three weeks and all they have done is send one e-mail to the ship credit desk, which has gone unanswered. We will dispute our credit card for all on-board charges at this point, but it's certainly a frustrating way to end a cruise.
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