Been to Hawaii many times and to all the Islands. However, we never have cruised the Islands and were very excited and looking forward to it as we love cruising. This was our 10th cruise and our 3rd on NCL. Started off great as we were picked up at the airport in Honolulu in a limousine - totally unexpected, and brought directly to the pier for our embarkation process. Embarkation seem to go well. As we stood in line just outside the terminal ready to enter through security, we provided our luggage to those at security and would receive it later delivered to our cabin. Immediately upon embarking, we decided to go directly to the shore excursion/tour desk and reserve a few that we had discussed and picked out. As we were going through the process, the first 2 questions I asked the "so-called expert" behind the desk was answered by her with "I'm not sure" and "I don't know, maybe..." They were questions about picking local transportation to the beach and shuttle service, etc. How can you not know that? That was my first impression as we embarked. So, we booked a couple shore excursions and off we went to our cabin.
A short time later, our luggage arrived at our door. Right away, I noticed a gapping hole torn through the seem of one of our bags and the luggage logo torn off as well. The hole ripped through was large enough to empty the luggage through the hole. That hole was NOT there when I personally gave the luggage to the people screening them as we embarked. Barely in our cabin and on board about 2 hours max. and this is what I have so far. Anyway, we were both fine and looking forward to a nice, relaxing vacation and visiting Hawaii one more time.
Then came time for dinner...This is where The Pride of Aloha was noticeably different than any of our previous 9 cruises. The service was HORRIBLE!!! Never, have we experienced such poor, poor dining service. None of the service workers had any consistency as to a process or coordination. It was as if they were never trained or properly prepared as to how to serve. How to greet, what to say, etc. As my wife said, "There is no precision". Each worker and each evening dining experience was a train wreck. It was obvious these workers had very little training. Once again, on the first dinner of the first evening, Our server struggled to uncork the wine bottle. It was if she had never opened a bottle before. Once she tore the label off, she broke the cork upon trying to get it out of the bottle. 1st Night! It didn't get any better after that. At one lunch - in the dining room - my wife ordered nothing more than a Turkey sandwich with no cheese. After 45 minutes, the server came by and ask her "now, what did you have again?" Then brought her a sandwich WITH Cheese.
The dining service was absolutely the worst I've ever seen on any cruise ship. Oh, and by the way, the buffet mess was not any better in many different ways in itself. So, if you try to avoid bad service and go to the buffet, your in for an entirely different set of trouble.
Our room steward was ok but many times did not complete the service or replace items. I had to actually ask him to replace the shampoo twice and the tissue box once as it was empty. Sometimes, only replaced a portion of the towels.
We did enjoy the Islands, and the shore excursions. The ships entertainment was ok.
Overall, the cruise experience was fine. But, if you want to be "waited on hand and foot" and if you have experienced other cruises and/or cruise lines that have the dining service down to a smooth coordinated effort with "precision", don't expect that on the Pride of Aloha. Oh, and the "Freestyle Dining" efforts that NCL prides themselves in,...It's really not at all what you might think. So, don't get your hopes up! There is nothing wrong with traditional dining.