Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by dreamin' girl: Pride of Aloha - Hawaii
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Pride of Aloha - Hawaii
My husband and I (in our mid 40s) had a wonderful week with our 2 sons (19 & 21) on the Pride of Aloha. (Sons had separate cabin 9336) I had been extremely apprehensive after reading the recent air conditioning problems and negative reviews. We were celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary and my husband was recovering from abdominal surgery. Air conditioning seemed to be working well every where. We were upbeat and friendly with the staff and most all responded the same. I did not notice any laziness or inappropriate behavior in the staff. We planned to enjoy ourselves no matter what and we did!
We met our cabin attendant, Sylvania, shortly after entering our room. She was busy working every morning and evening and could be found easily if needed. I brought sanitizing wipes with me but did not need them. We found our rooms clean with ample place for our belongings (lots of space under the bed if needed). Beds were a bit on the firm side. Had requested eggcrate mattress More for beds prior to cruise. (If TA or NCL rep deny it exists, tell them it is listed under special bedding) The beds did have a thicker mattress pad on top of a 6 inch or so mattress. Balcony room door blew open one night while we were out to dinner. It was pretty windy that night and we could hear howling through the corridor as we returned to our room. As we got closer to our cabin, we realized it was coming from our room. When we opened the door, the wind whipped around the room sucking some loose papers out through the balcony. We locked the door shut when the ship was moving after that. Intermittent howling could be heard in the corridor. Placing a towel along the floor of the door stopped this minor annoyance. Hand sanitizer was available all over the ship and the staff encouraged everyone to use it prior to eating and upon returning to the ship.
Food was okay. We ate most breakfasts at the Hukilau Lanai (On the deck outside the Hukilau Buffet). We found the lanai to have the quickest lines, to be open for most of the daylight hours and be an abbreviated version of the Hukilau Cafe. I would pick up an eggs benedict, oatmeal or waffle from the Cafe and bring it to the Lanai where I could breeze through the lines. We ate at the Crossings Dining room for brft once. Food did not appear to be any different than the Cafe with the exception of some of the pastries (I had a wonderful choc chip/nut scone). Dining room and Lanai both had made to order omelets but not at the Cafe. We ate most dinners in the main dining rooms. Food was better than buffet but not great. Service was fine with minimal waiting. Specialty Restaurant sign ups was a bit confusing as the menus were spread out for you to view with different names on them than the restaurants. For example: Asian Fusion (this was the menu for Pacific Heights). We had one meal at The Royal Palm Bistro. It was nice, but again not great. I'm not sure it is worth the extra charge of $15 per person. We went at 9:15 pm when it was $7.50. I really enjoyed the warm pastry filled with goat cheese that came with my salad.
We did not book the NCL excursions. We rented a jeep in Kauai, and convertibles in Hilo and Maui and found this an easy way to see the islands. Tried to book zipline and Kauai tube ride a couple weeks before cruise but all were sold out. The ship cruised by the NaPali Coast. It was okay, did not see any waterfalls. Maybe we're spoiled by our mountains in Washington. Enjoyed the Volcanoes National Park. Their was no mention of the lava flow on the ship and we did not see anything from the ship. While in Maui, booked Alex Air helicopter tour of crater and Hana. Enjoyed the ride but was a bit disappointed in the views. Did not get up close to any waterfalls. We were suppose to see the pools of O'heu. The pilot pointed the area out as we started to descend from the crater but then turned the chopper towards Hana. We didn't go over Hana either. Their was not much for water to be seen in the rainforest as Maui "is having a drought". Saw a few trickles here and there. Parking at the port in Maui is very limited. 2 spaces were left when we returned to the ship at 5:30 pm. Warnings were listed in the daily newsletter not to park at the mall as cars had been towed.
We enjoyed the comedian Chris Alpine, magician's card tricks and staff talent show. Cabaret singer, Lisa was fabulous and the cruise director's act was really neat.
Flights were through NCL on Hawaiian Air. We had direct flights from Seattle that arrived in Honolulu, noon and departed from Honolulu, 1:30 pm. Perfect. Seats were not assigned by NCL or TA. Noted this when received flight info and made assignment then. Were not able to get our preferred seats but did okay.
Bottom line. We enjoyed ourselves very much and would do this cruise again. I would recommend booking any popular excursions you really want early! (NCL excursion's prices seem quite pricey compared to the same excursions one can book online) I did get tired of having to pick up and drop off cars. Next time I think we would disembark in Maui and fly out from Maui a few days later. Less
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