WILL NEVER TAKE NORWEGIAN AGAIN...AT LEAST, NOT ON "PRIDE OF AMERICA". While embarking on Day 1, with ship leaving in only hours out of Honolulu, to begin the cruise of the Hawaiian Islands.... this is what was the beginning of a most unpleasant experience. We are cruisers of two and a half years. We have been on the Queen Mary 2 (Cunard), the Century, the Splendor of the Seas, Marco Polo, Tahitian Princess, and others, taking some 8 cruises in just a two year span. All ships/cruises had professional, proud, "aiming to please", MATURE STAFF WITH EXPERIENCE, and were clean, well-run ships.
Problems on Pride of America:
Ship held around 1200 people. At least, 600 people, if not more, HAD MAJOR BIGTIME PLUMBING PROBLEMS WITH TOILETS. Many bathrooms in "public" areas also WERE UNUSABLE, OFF AND ON, THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE TRIP. The staff was unconcerned, refused to make cabin changes, (although we KNOW there were not sailing at full capacity), and had just a general, "We are doing what we can"; now, "buzz off" attitude, becoming downright rude as time went on. Some people entered their cabin on the first day, only to look into their toilets and find, shall we say, little "surprises" from the prior tenants of the cabin, just hours before.
None, or very, very few, of the employees were over the age of 20 !! And, because they were from the United States, had a very, very, very poor "work ethic". And, I am from the United States, by the way.
I knew the employees were sub-standard when I went up to Deck 10, peered out on Day 1, to the pool/hot tub area, and saw many of the young "kids" "chit-chatting", "shooting the breeze", for minutes and hours on end with one another, with passengers, etc., etc., laying their service trays aside, while doing so!!
Our cabin steward, forgot to do one to two things EVERYDAY, upon cleaning our cabin. One day, no ice. Another day, dirty towels left in bathroom. Another day, trash cans not emptied. Vacuuming never took place, by the way. One day, I actually left him a small list of "to do's", so that he would not forget to do certain things. He STILL persisted in forgetting the most bare necessities of room cleaning. It was unbelievable.
The "youngster" that waited on us at night, in the more formal restaurant, told us that on some of her friends'/co-workers' days "off", they just packed up a duffel bag, got off the ship,AND NEVER RETURNED!! They liked Maui so much, why they just thought they would stay!!
Many, many passengers did not appreciate at all... the Gestapo, arm-twisting tactics that Norwegian imposed on this ship, concerning TIPPING. We were told, personally, at the front desk...that the tip is on our bill; cannot be "changed" or altered in any way. We could not "dispute", nor adjust the tip amount, in other words. ON ALL OTHER CRUISE LINES we had taken before, this is ultimately the customer's decision as to who gets tipped, and how much!!! (And, may I say, that my husband and myself are more than fair when it has come to tipping, on past cruises, even adding a bit more to what the cruise line "suggested").
The employee problem exists because Norwegian Lines is the only cruise line IN THE WORLD, whereby two of its ships, fly the U.S. flag as a flag of "registry". This is highly important as it means that they are forced to hire American workers, (U.S.Labor Laws, you know!) ....hence, the young, inexperienced folks become their cruise ship employees.
Well, that's it. If we ever go to Hawaii again, it will be OUT OF LOS ANGELES, ON ROYAL Caribbean, OR SOMEONE ELSE. We are willing to take the 3 day passage by sea just to get to Hawaii to begin the cruise, and then take the 3 day passage by sea back to Los Angeles at the end of the cruise....JUST TO AVOID NEVER, EVER, taking one of Norwegian Cruise Lines ships, plying the Hawaiian Islands!!