3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The NCL Pride of America is the only American based ship that stops on four Hawaiian islands, without a stop out of the country, ie, a Polynesian Island. This means the ship has different "rules". There is no casino, the drink ... Read More
The NCL Pride of America is the only American based ship that stops on four Hawaiian islands, without a stop out of the country, ie, a Polynesian Island. This means the ship has different "rules". There is no casino, the drink packages are overpriced, everything has a service charge, it is an all American crew, and all American chefs. The cruise departs from Honolulu and stops in Maui for two days, Hilo, Kona, Kauai for two days and then back to Honolulu. For reference, the cruise cost us $7,100 for two people. If you did what we did with a land only trip, you would spend close to $13,000 without airfare. If you go into the cruise being aware of its deficiencies, then it's easier to look past them and enjoy the trip. The port in Honolulu is clean and was easy to navigate. Took an Uber to the port, dropped us off right at door. We used a porter to get our bags to security and waited in a small line to get on the ship. I think going later in the day, after 3pm helped with the lines and time for embarkation. Debarkation was a little less organized as a lines formed on the sixth deck to get off the trip. Took about 30-45 minutes. The ship as a whole is old and run down. It needs a lot of updating. Due to the fact that this cruise is routinely sold out, it seems NCL doesn't think it's necessary to update the ship. There are two dining rooms, a buffet, a 24-hour diner and five specialty restaurants. All were mediocre, except Cagney's Steakhouse. That was by far the best meal of the trip. All the stops were fine. We recommend renting your own car and doing things on your own. The costs of the excursions is high. We also recommend finding your own Luau. The one run by the ship ran our of food according to reports and was drawn out. Finally, keep an eye on your bill. They nickel and dime you for everything on that ship, including 29$ for an umbrella and 5$ for a poncho. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We choose this cruise because our son is in the Army stationed on Schofield Barracks in Oahu. We have cruised many times on Carnival, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. This was our first and probably last on Norwegian. It seemed perfect for ... Read More
We choose this cruise because our son is in the Army stationed on Schofield Barracks in Oahu. We have cruised many times on Carnival, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. This was our first and probably last on Norwegian. It seemed perfect for us, a seven day Island tour round trip from Honolulu. We stared out quite impressed with the ship and food. But from day one it went down hill! Our travel agent suggested we let the ship pick our ocean view room. We were quite happy to see the ocean side of our smaller room was all window, but when we opened the curtain we had a view of a lifeboat! From day one our toilet did not work. I called and complained immediately, but only got lip service that people flushed things they should not. I expressed that on all the other cruise lines we have been on have the same systems and if there was ever a problem, it was fixed. On day six of a seven day cruise the worked on it and it operated for a few hours. Not only could we not use our bathroom, many times we could not stay in the room because the toilet was full and would not flush! After day two we noticed the food was never hot, warm at best! We went to the formal dinning rooms and the buffet with the same results. How likes cold eggs? The food was good when warm. The shows were good for the most part. The crew was very friendly and accommodating. The upgraded state room view of a lifeboat, non working toilet and cold food has made us say never again on Norwegian. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We book the POA as a way to see 4 Hawaiian Islands in one trip. The cruise offers the convenience of a floating hotel. However, the cruise is not on par with other NCL ships. If you don’t have reservations at a sit down restaurant ... Read More
We book the POA as a way to see 4 Hawaiian Islands in one trip. The cruise offers the convenience of a floating hotel. However, the cruise is not on par with other NCL ships. If you don’t have reservations at a sit down restaurant don’t expect a plentiful buffet after 9pm. This was very disappointing since the ship stays in port overnight a few times and we would rather stay on shore as much a possible. Lunch doesn’t open until 12pm on the dot. Turnover is a complete shut down. Late night cookies were very cold no effort to even make the room temperature. The East meets West, Liberty and Skyline restaurants were great. Cadillac Diner was good for breakfast but had a limited menu for the rest of day. Showcased milkshakes for an upcharge. Entire ship is asleep by 8:30 also, so don’t expect a lively night out unless you go off the ship. If you need a floating hotel, this is your ship! Talked with ship staff and they mentioned the cruise was more older folks and geared that direction for activities and food offerings. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I am TOTALLY FRUSTRATED with NCL at the moment and I would love the opportunity to speak with their CEO or someone from upper management. Pride of America is a relatively small ship compared to the rest of Norwegian’s fleet. The ... Read More
I am TOTALLY FRUSTRATED with NCL at the moment and I would love the opportunity to speak with their CEO or someone from upper management. Pride of America is a relatively small ship compared to the rest of Norwegian’s fleet. The ship is clean and the crew is, for the most part, very friendly. The cost of the cruise, however, was the most expensive I’ve experienced with NCL coming in just shy of $5100 for my wife and I for a balcony cabin located on the 10th level. I kept telling myself this is Hawaii and you get what you pay for. I can only imagine that NCL spends hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to acquire your business and maintain your loyalty, but they missed the mark in our particular case. We have been loyal customers of NCL since switching over from another line several years back. Here are a few things to mull over. We were on the ship for only several hours when a women tripped and fell while exiting a bathroom near the pool area. She landed on my wife’s legs as my wife was entering the bathroom. NCL has a metal ramp going into the bathroom, but there is no similar accommodation as you exit. Next, I don’t believe an Unlimited Beverage Plan is available on POA due to Hawaiian law. However, a waiter at Teppanyaki thought otherwise and questioned where I had heard this. (Just a little embarrassed in front of my friends) Drinks, in my opinion, are very expensive. A Jack Daniels and Coke was $12.35, a Michelob Ultra was $8.63, a can of Pepsi was $4.28, and our friends ordered two Stoly doubles that cost them nearly $50. Next, the food at Cagney’s and Teppanyaki was very good, but both my wife and I were really looking forward to a nice lobster. Sorry, I couldn’t find lobster anywhere, not even in the specialty restaurants. Shrimp and scallops were found, but only on select menus and somewhat limited. Overall the food was pretty good, but the repetition of the same foods made for boring meals. Next, Kevin Brando on piano and a group called These Guys Worldwide were both exceptional entertainers and I wish we had seen more of them. However, the other entertainers on board were in my opinion average at best. Oh, I almost forgot, one group from a local island boarded the ship to entertain us and they were pretty good too! Here I go again telling myself it’s Hawaii. Well, if so, what happened to the visions I had of ample Hawaiian music and dancers? Maybe I was on shore and missed them. Now, I have to come full circle and express why I’m really frustrated. Remember I earlier spoke about the vast amounts of money that NCL spends on advertising to acquire your business and maintain your loyalty through their Latitudes Reward program. The good news is, they have now enhanced their CruiseNext program by allowing you to Double Up, or by applying two deposits towards a cruise that’s at least six months out. However, my frustration and the feeling that I’m being punished is due to, in my opinion, a silly policy that prohibits your use of this incentive if you already have a deposit on that future cruise. Yes, my wife and I, and five others already have $50 deposits on a cruise scheduled for November. It’s my understanding that we meet all of the requirements for this program except for the nominal deposit that’s in place. When talking to the CruiseNext Manager she suggested that we contact our travel agent and see if we could cancel our booking then rebook at the existing rate so we might be able to use the program. My response, Why should we have to do that? Understanding my frustrations she contacted her superiors to see if there was an alternative or exception to this rule. I subsequently received a letter saying there was no relief in this matter. So, here we are. NCL has spent enormous amounts of money to acquire our business and maintain a loyal relationship, but they are unable to overlook the $50 deposits that we have in place towards our next NCL cruise. Not only was that frustrating to accept, but imagine the shade that it cast over the POA cruise that I was currently trying to enjoy. So much for the investment that you’ve made to acquire and maintain our loyalty. Well, loyalty is a two way street. My Mom used to be great with all sorts of old adages. There are many I can think of, but “penny wise and dollar foolish” is perhaps the best in this particular instance. A future relationship with NCL is now very doubtful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Cruise the Hawaiian islands, NCL placed fees and charges at every turn. Daily service charge was 40% higher than other cruises. There was a “corking fee” for the one bottle of wine packed for use in the stateroom. No other cruise ... Read More
Cruise the Hawaiian islands, NCL placed fees and charges at every turn. Daily service charge was 40% higher than other cruises. There was a “corking fee” for the one bottle of wine packed for use in the stateroom. No other cruise line has done this in the past. Fees plus tips were added to bar orders. Stateroom and balcony were very small.Cabin steward was attentive and friendly. Food at the buffet (especially for breakfast) was better than the dining room. However, guests had to get their own coffee, juice, and water. The ports of call were interesting and shore excursions were expensive, but usually worthwhile, Helicopter ride was cancelled due to weather, so we were taken on a very long van ride and charged $100. We were unable to cancel this part of the tour. Much rain in the month of March. Would recommend a drier month. Their daily newspaper was minimally informative. Didn’t have information about a special dress night until it was over, I would not recommend NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise for our 50th anniversary because of its itinerary. We were soon disappointed. I will give the positives first. Embarkation and Disembarkation were extremely easy and organized. Our room steward was ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for our 50th anniversary because of its itinerary. We were soon disappointed. I will give the positives first. Embarkation and Disembarkation were extremely easy and organized. Our room steward was fantastic. Now the minuses. Food in main dining room and buffet was mediocre at best. We had an Italian and Mexican themed night but no Hawaiian night. Seemed unusual for a seven day Hawaiian cruise until I realized that the ship was too busy promoting the luau on Kauai, a Hawaiian night would have reduced the attendance at this luau. The buffet was very small, for a ship of this size, and was closed more than it was open. The swimming pool was out of service 6 of the 7 days on this cruise. They advertise free style dining but it is far from that. Without a reservation wait times can be very lengthy. Main dining room seemed understaffed because there would be several empty tables while many people were still waiting in reception area. My wife and I have been on 8 cruises together and this was our most expensive,and yet it was worth far less. We now wished we had chosen some other cruiseline for our special occasion. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This cruise was selected by another family member, but we all felt the same way and will not be cruising Norwegian again. Check in was exceedingly slow, even though we had checked in "online" in advance. Our individual was ... Read More
This cruise was selected by another family member, but we all felt the same way and will not be cruising Norwegian again. Check in was exceedingly slow, even though we had checked in "online" in advance. Our individual was typing with one finger at a time, we'd had a long flight and were tired. All decks were called as being ready before ours at least an hour before ours and by the time we finally got to go to our room at 4:30, we immediately had to leave for a fire drill. Cabin steward was not receptive to notes to leave for replacement items (soft drink replacement from the mini-bar, ice, a replacement for an empty lotion -- of which you get one at the beginning of the week and that's it). They fail to tell you until the night before that there is a tender which transfers you from the boat to the port because the ship is too big to dock. This was a problem because we had an excursion booked and individual with limited ability to ascend the 12 steps to the tender, rather than be able to wheel them directly out a ramp. A lot of sections of the ship required considerable pushing to get a wheelchair over a hump. An elevator got stuck with us inside for a few minutes when trying to disembark in one port and we were unable to take the stairs down due to mobility issues. You are literally charged for everything, even after paying a hefty price for cabin and meals. Extra charge for "specialty' restaurants, mandatory 18% gratuities on everything, all alcoholic drinks and soft drinks (which we expected because it's a great money maker for them), photos, USB drives for the photos, etc. Shops are highly overpriced for American products which can be obtained in the American ports. Daily service charge per room, per person of almost $15 which is alleged to be used as "incentive pay" for employees, on top of the 18% mandatory gratuity, and on receipts there is yet another line for you to add a "tip." One bartender told us that the reason they started charging the 18% was because non-Americans don't tip. Non-Americans don't tip because good service is should be expected for the prices already charged. You are basically paying the employees wages with the service charges and gratuities so the ship's company can make more profit. There is a huge marketing push to book another cruise and obtain their credit card. Wine is $42 a bottle minimum, beer is $8, soft drink can is $3.51. And, of course, you can't bring any of that onboard with you. Disembarking is a nightmare with only two elevators which go down all the way to the gangway and 2,000+ people trying to exit at a port at any given time. Elevators are extremely slow with some pre-determined computerized attempt to service, which skips floors altogether, or opens it's doors with a semi-full load of 5 or 6 people and then indicates it's overloaded, even if the elevator claims it can take 13 people. I don't know what they consider when they estimate an individuals weight to come up with the number of people it can hold. The cabin appears to be smaller than cabins we've been in on other ships, even though we had an upper deck more expensive one with a balcony. The entertainers at shows were actually great. Service desk could use some work as twice we were provided wrong directions and wrong areas to report to. Our cabin steward could use some tweaking, others didn't have the same problem with theirs -- but it might explain why our deck was the last one ready so much later than the other decks. Bartenders were always pleasant. Assistance with wheelchair disembarking at final stop left us as the last five passengers on the ship quite some time after all passengers had left. And while we weren't expecting special privileges, we had been told that they would be happy to help us. There is a certain lack of empathy or accommodation when it came to our particular party. While the food in the East to West Asian restaurant was very good, the matre d' appeared somewhat snobbish towards us. Our age group ranged from 35-80 and we come from a large family. We will not recommend this cruise to any of our family or friends. Maui did not have many excursions available and not much to see in the port we were in; you were required to take the taxis as they were lined up (I thought this was an American cruise and we could choose who we wanted?) If you want to take an Uber or Lyft driver, you literally have to walk half a mile to get to them. Another huge inconvenience if you have anyone in a wheelchair. The stay there is too long considering the lack of available off-ship entertainment options. Kona does not dock at a pier, but you have to transfer from a tender and then wait 30-45 minutes in mostly sun to reboard for a return trip. NOT wheelchair or elderly friendly. Nawiliwili is the best port, with the best excursions (don't book them through the ship excursions; at this port at least you can be picked up right outside a decently short walk terminal.) Hilo is okay, but expensive excursions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Pride of America? Ha! No one was proud to be working on this ship and we certainly did not feel proud to be Americans after leaving. Our travel agent booked us our honeymoon to cruise around Hawaii on The Pride of America and I wish we had ... Read More
Pride of America? Ha! No one was proud to be working on this ship and we certainly did not feel proud to be Americans after leaving. Our travel agent booked us our honeymoon to cruise around Hawaii on The Pride of America and I wish we had just stayed in a hotel and hopped to each island ourselves. The first disappointment happened the very first day. We ordered a water package the first day and didn't receive it so the next day at night I called my stewardist who told me to call another person and that person told me to call another one. Then I was told I would get a call back and did not. So I went to guest services and they said it was our fault we didn't get our water because we had our "do not disturb" sign on but when I pointed out to them that it didn't even show in my account that I had purchased this (receipt in hand) they realized the bartender forgot to submit our request! And instead of giving us water then n there or comping a bottle for us we still waited in our room wondering, waiting for our water until I called again because we wanted to go to sleep. Finally received it. There were maybe 3 staff members on board who were helpful and nice all others were down right rude! There was even a manager at the Cadillac Diner who was rude to us and who even yelled across the restaurant at one of her employees. I was embarrassed for him. Everything was slow, and not slow in they wanted us to enjoy ourselves slow, but like they forgot about us slow. One day we asked our stewardist for a beach towel because she took ours even though it was placed on our bed and she said "oh yeah i ran out so I didn't give you one." Also, and this is just a minor bummer but we only got two towel animals the whole cruise. I also look forward to that part. For disembarkment day it was not smooth at all. We signed up for priority for our luggage to be off the ship since we had an early flight, but our bags weren't there, many people's bags weren't. But other groups had their bags that did not sign up for this. When we asked about our bags we were told, "that's it, no more bags." UUUUUhhhhhh no we need our bags! Finally after I and several other angry cruisers complained we got our bags. I have cruised over 10 times and have never been so disappointed after a cruise. Such a bummer and let down and I know many people felt the same. Positives: Our chef at Tepanyaki, the ports because we got to be off the ship and experience the nice people of Hawaii, and the food was pretty good One word to describe our experience: disappointed Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We just completed a cruise on NCL Pride of America sailing the Hawaiian Islands. We are the reunion planners for a Navy ship and had 22 people joining us for this cruise and a tour of Pearl Harbor & military sites. While dealing ... Read More
We just completed a cruise on NCL Pride of America sailing the Hawaiian Islands. We are the reunion planners for a Navy ship and had 22 people joining us for this cruise and a tour of Pearl Harbor & military sites. While dealing with the Group Agent for NCL I kept asking for answers via email for my reference if needed which he never did. We, as a group, experienced poor food in the dining room and buffet; as well as in one of the specialty restaurants. Also, the service was extremely poor…….in the dining room we were told there was 1 server per 16 tables. Many dishes from one course were never cleared before the next course was served. There were many items out of order for several days…………ice machine, ice cream machine, drink machines, toasters, and some toilets. In the buffet there was just one person making omelets while 15 people waited; even tho there was a second omelet grill to use. One morning in the buffet an officer was reprimanding a staff person in front of passengers. We had a balcony cabin which was nice but the bed placement could have been better…….it was in the middle of the room so you had to constantly keep walking around it. The bathroom was very roomy with a good shower. Our cabin steward great……we voted him our “vacation hero”. I doubt we would cruise with NCL again as have had better experiences on other cruise lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The food was lackluster, served lukewarm. The first day I ordered a Ceasar salad with anchovies (preference was asked) - I was served a piece of salmon on a bed of spinach leaves with the explanation "we don't have any ... Read More
The food was lackluster, served lukewarm. The first day I ordered a Ceasar salad with anchovies (preference was asked) - I was served a piece of salmon on a bed of spinach leaves with the explanation "we don't have any anchovies". Even the specialty restaurants, for the most part (Cagney was the best meal of the week), were disappointing - we would then visit the Aloha buffet to supplement. At East/West restaurant when the mgr came to inquire about our dinner and we told him why we didn't eat it, he just turned and walked away! Took until mid afternoon to have our cabin made up. When pull out bed was open, the cabin was "all bed", that would have been fine if it was put back quickly the next day. Got conflicting information from ship staff on questions that others must have asked many times. My friends and I made our own fun of course, but the cruise was disappointing. There weren't any announcements about the whale watching we expected. We had sailed on NCL out of Barcelona a few years ago and that trip was very nicely done - so is it the Pride of America staff? lack of training? or? Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
In short, we wanted to visit several of the islands without having to spend all of our time in airports, or packing and unpacking. This cruise filled that bill, but things like the ships food did not meet any kind of cruise expectations. ... Read More
In short, we wanted to visit several of the islands without having to spend all of our time in airports, or packing and unpacking. This cruise filled that bill, but things like the ships food did not meet any kind of cruise expectations. We did extend the cruise with the NCL three day pre-cruise tour of Oahu, which was worthwhile. TIPS- Bring some cheap refillable water bottles for your shore excursions. NCL does not allow any bottled water, soda, beer, or empty water bottles to be brought on board ship. Price for bottled water on the ship is $3.95 for a 12 oz bottle. If you are flying out immediately after the cruise, try to get a late evening flight. You have to be off the boat before noon anyway, and we caught the first shuttle to the airport (about 8 am), rented a car, and spent the day seeing things like the North Shore, and Punchbowl Cemetary. There is value in booking your shore excursions through NCL. The wife fell in the surf on the Road to Hana excursion and hurt her wrist. We visited the ships doctor that evening (normally $149 for an office visit) for a checkout. We were told that since the shore excursion was booked through NCL we were covered by their insurance. No charge for the office visit. We had to go ashore for x-rays, and NCL is supposed to pick up whatever costs our insurance company does not cover. If you arriving a day early, NCL does not provide any airport to hotel shuttles. Use a shuttle service like King Airport Shuttle. Cheaper than a taxi, excellent service, and you can arrange for them to provide a lei greeting. If you still need some souvenirs when you get to Kona, take the K-Mart shuttle. They actually have a fairly nice souvenir area with good prices. Shuttle is free, and there is a mall next door with a number of stores. Ask the driver how to get a free shopping bag at K-Mart. GOOD THINGS The ship serves as a floating hotel/transfer service. No long airport waits or daily repacking if you want to see multiple islands....Cabin was small but clean....Arrivals and departures were on time....Check in at the dock was quick and easy...Captain made sure we could see lava flow when we went by at night. Very neat to see... BAD THINGS Communication is terrible...Web page needs to be redone. Hard to find info, and we booked and paid for two shore excursions on same day based on web page info. Night before excursions got a call saying that there was not enough time between excursions and we needed to choose which we wanted to go on. Why wasn't this caught when we booked on web site?...Pre-cruise info said we needed to check in with NCL rep at hotel. NCL didn't know anything about any check in. Rep was worthless. Asked her about leaving flowers at Arizona memorial and was given totally incorrect info....Getting ready for first day of tours on Oahu, we had to find our tour bus driver in hotel lobby. No organization...Last day on ship, we were to be out of cabin by 8:30 and wanted to catch first shuttle at 8:00 but my diabetic sister needed breakfast. Daily newsletter said breakfast buffet started at 6:00 or 6:30 depending on which page you read, TV said 6:15. Buffet opened at 6:15. Got off ship, and no directions about where to meet shuttle. Had to ask a security guard where to catch shuttle. Food was bad. If this were a local restaurant one visit would be enough. Had breakfast at the buffet (menu did not change). Only one meat available for omelets, and the 'eggs' were a disgusting looking slurry with solids attached around the edges of the container. One day had breakfast at Skyline. Same omelet, but with hash browns. Three little hockey pucks that together were smaller than McDonalds hash browns. McD hash browns would have been a distinct improvement. Had supper at Liberty typically. Wife had an unbelievably tough NY strip steak cooked medium. My prime rib had no taste. Portions were often small, and typical quality was on par with Dennys. Diabetic sister had and 11:30 shore excursion and needed to eat lunch before leaving. Buffet closed for breakfast at 9:30, and opened for lunch at 11:30. Cadillac Diner is only venue open 24 hours, but it does not serve lunch menu till 11:30!...Had a bottle of wine at Liberty cafe one evening. Roughly $10 in extra charges added to price of bottle....Late night snack? Buffet open 9 to 11, but virtually nothing there to eat except ice cream from the machine. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Let me preface this with this is NOT our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even our 5th cruise. Norwegian is by far the least customer service orientated cruise line. Our main complaint with Norwegian ....DINNER ! Virtually every night except 1 ... Read More
Let me preface this with this is NOT our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even our 5th cruise. Norwegian is by far the least customer service orientated cruise line. Our main complaint with Norwegian ....DINNER ! Virtually every night except 1 we had difficulty with the meals. The chief works wonders with leftovers. Each night the salad was wilted, and entries lacked quality. One evening the entree was "Lump Meat Crab Cake", should have been labeled "Crab Paste" lightly grilled. Not eaten. As with other cruise lines Norwegian also has a side menu, for additional costs. HOWEVER, this side menu fails to take into consideration that the customer has already PAID in advance for the meals, yet NORWEGIAN doesn't take this into account and charges $$$$ more for this instead of discounting for the cost of the meals already paid for. For instance Norwegian charges $24.00,add'l, for the Bone in rib-eye steak { not the gourmet restaurant( which is a normal price )} w/o consideration for meals already paid. Norwegian could have and should have charged somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-$14 for this w/consideration still making a profit, for the meals already paid. Instead they charge full price for this w/o any consideration. It's an insult to every customer, does Norwegian believe that their customers are that naive? Breakfast & Lunch buffets nice Restaurant meals leave something to be desired. When difficulties arise Norwegian's answer is to offer a beverage, REALLY..... Cabins well kept but the cabinets need work, drawer slides broken and hard to open, this after this ship just returned from an overhaul! Cabin steward very attentive. Entertainment average, crew very polite and appear pleasant. Went to CS Desk asked to print out boarding passes for flight, customary with virtually all accommodations and was told....., well if you have purchased the internet package you can use that and print your passes, otherwise the'll be an additional charge. NORWEGIAN attempts to squeeze every last dollar they can.... Never had this problem Royal Carrib, Holland, or even Uniworld River Cruses. Fool Me Once, shame on you, fool me twice.......etc! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Booked owners suite for a very special occasion and was very disappointed with quality and service provided. Stayed overnight in Marriot hotel was good but maid started cleaning our room before we had checked out, removing our travel ... Read More
Booked owners suite for a very special occasion and was very disappointed with quality and service provided. Stayed overnight in Marriot hotel was good but maid started cleaning our room before we had checked out, removing our travel doc's for both cruise and stay in Vegas, got doc's back after frantic search. Checkout was at 11:00 maid had started clearing our room at 10:30! Boarded ship at 12:00, bags finally arrived 4 hours later, crew explained 1500 bags to bring onboard, I expected better service when we had paid for the most expensive cabin on the ship. Owners cabin was nice but had definitely seen better days, couch was well worn and both arm rests were worn through. Both sinks in the bathroom and WC were damaged and marked. Breakfast was just for suite guests in Gagneys resturant. Food was ok but nothing special, steak and eggs were good though. Pleased we did not have to endure buffet breakfast, it appeared a complete free for all with little organization from the crew. We booked tours on line prior to the trip and generally they were good, however the shore organization for these trips by NCL was zero once we left the ship. For the first trip we all stood in the sun whilst the bus was empty and just waiting there, the tour description number on the bus was different from our tour number. Our Atlantis submarine tour was cancelled one hour before we were due to leave, which can happen but we were offered no alternative, just a refund. The Kilohana manor house & Kalamaku show was very good, recommend this tour because the Kalamaku show only tour is just a buffet meal which according to people who ate this was poor quality, the meal in manor house was excellent. Entertainment onboard was average, DJ Mr W spent more time playing with his mobile than actually seeing if people were listening to the music he played. White Hot party should be renamed to White Hot crew party. After 1 hour people started to leave and the off duty crew took over the dance floor, music was defiantly not music that people wanted to hear, after 2 hours all guests had left but the crew still enjoyed the night. Great disappointment, wife even had a white dress made for this party. Entertainment very poor quality. Do not pre pay tips, we did but was informed on the last day that the pre paid tips did not go to our butler, concierge or drinks staff, so we were pestered for tips because the people we expected to receive the pre paid tip do not get it. General comment is NCL have the monopoly for this cruise so quality not really number one priority for crew, they need training in customer care. This cruise is good to see Hawaii but book the cheapest accommodation with NCL because you will not get improved service if you pay more. Do not expect normal cruise standard of food because this is very basic stuff, Disappointed Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our 5th cruise, second with Norwegian. We used Roberts of Hawaii for shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. We stayed pre cruise at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Honolulu. This met our needs perfectly as we spent 5 days ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, second with Norwegian. We used Roberts of Hawaii for shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. We stayed pre cruise at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Honolulu. This met our needs perfectly as we spent 5 days touring Oahu before the cruise. It was close to the beach and away from the hustle and bustle of the Waikiki strip. Enjoyed our one dinner and one breakfast in the hotel. The room was clean, bed comfortable and staff friendly. We walked down the strip and dined at various restaura for our other meals. We did not pre-book our shore excursions for Oahu and ended up booking them with the consultant in the lobby. This was a big mistake. She told us tours were almost sold out and sold us the most expensive options. Our first tour bus was almost empty. We really enjoyed the North Shore tour however, but could have done without the bland buffet provided. The second tour, the Polynesian cultural center was ok, however, the tour guides used the same jokes, same information that the guide the day before used. The acts at the Center also used the same jokes and provided the same information as the 2 tour guides on the buses. The Big Kahuna luau was just ok. The setting was at a previously private estate on Tantalis . The food was so so and similar to the buffet lunch from the first tour we took. The jokes and information at the luau were the same as the previous two days. We were getting so we could have performed for them. Then, when we got on the ship the first Hula act in the theatre was the exact same group that performed at the Big Kahuna luau. Same jokes , same information....oh my! Embarkation was good. Took a taxis to the port from the hotel for $27. We went right at 1230 , so the line up was long. Our inside cabin was small but ok. Had to wiggle into bed every night as the bunk prevented me from standing upright beside the bed. This is the first time we have stayed in a cabin with a bunk. The bed was comfortable and other than the cabin steward throwing away personal items and walking in on us after only a brief knock on the door 3 different times, we have no complaints. The food was below par in all venues , including Cagney's. My lobster was tough, my shrimp tasteless and food in general was only luke warm . Had to send meals back twice in the main dining rooms for being too salty to eat or under cooked. There was a strong smell of sewage on several floors of the ship and the tables in the Mardi Gras lounge were falling apart. I wore my pina colada one night because of a tippy table. The aggravating thing is, that the same thing happened the night before to another table of 4. When we pointed out to staff that the table we were sitting at that night was also unstable, they replied " we can't change all of the tables". Most of the entertainment took place in this lounge. The ship is definitely due for refurbishing! Absolutely loved the Road to Hana tour. We went with Valley Isle. Small comfortable van, tour guide was great, stops were awesome and the lunch provided by the guide at the flower shop stop was very good! The road is not as scary as others would have you believe. The road is narrow at times, but I sat on the left and got fantastic shots of the ocean and valleys. Parts of the bumpy portion of the road have been repaved and the areas that were not are really not that bad. Very very long day but sooo glad we did it. The Haleakala crater tour on Maui was awesome. We also enjoyed Volcanoes National Park onthe big island of Hawaii. We took a trolley to a nearby beach in Kona for $2 dollars each each way and enjoyed a day of snorkeling in Kona. The variety of fish was amazing and some people were lucky enough to see large sea turtles. On Kauai , don't miss Waimea Canyon! It is truly breathtaking. The fern grotto and river cruise were only so so. We did 5 tours with Roberts for $150 . Great price, well organized. We booked these in advance of the cruise.The only negative about these tours is the shopping stops disguised as washroom breaks. The day of disembarkation, we walked off the ship at 0730 with ease, met the Robert's tour bus at 0900, and enjoyed a tour of Pearl Harbor. Our luggage was safely locked on the bus for the duration of the tour. We were dropped off at the Airport Hotel at approx. 2pm. Checked in for a shower and a nap and took the free shuttle from the hotel to the airport for our flight at 1130pm. The Airport hotel was clean. The bed was comfortable. We were well rested for our 26 hour journey home! All in all, we really enjoyed our trip. The cruise itself was a means to an end. Somewhere to sleep while we toured Hawaii. It was very tiring with very long days. I will now appreciate sea days! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We have been on many cruises, two previous on NCL which were very good. Never have we felt compelled to write a review before. Please, if you have never cruised before, do not make this one your first, for you will have poisoned, in ... Read More
We have been on many cruises, two previous on NCL which were very good. Never have we felt compelled to write a review before. Please, if you have never cruised before, do not make this one your first, for you will have poisoned, in your mind, what is normally a grand experience. Take my advice and make your first cruise on the highest quality line that you can afford; you will then be better prepared to understand the shortcomings of this ship if you should be unfortunate enough to take it later. For the sake of expediency, I shall list its attributes and shortcomings in point form. FYI, our cabin was midships deck 8 with a balcony. Shortcomings: A serious stench of sewer gas greeted us upon opening the cabin door the first time. At frequent intervals this stench returned, not only in the cabin but in the corridors and lasted for hours. All night long we were lulled to sleep by a defective ball bearing in some large piece of equipment tapping away all night. This was not the most stable ship we have travelled in and might cause problems for any who are prone to seasickness. She rolled significantly in a moderate sea, not that it bothered us. A very strange design for a ship with views of the water obstructed by the lifeboats. Deck 8 balconies overlooked the lifeboat roofs. Deck 7 cabin windows were completely obstructed by the lifeboats. Never before have we seen lifeboats outboard of the balconies. The "Garden Cafe", the buffet dining room, was usually overcrowded and chaotic. Usually finding a vacant table was difficult. The cabins are small as are the washrooms, the shower being tiny. A miserable selection of TV channels were provided, half of which were pixelated to the point of being unwatchable. News and weather for Valparaiso being the best. There is no casino, not that we wanted one. There is no duty free on board. The layout of the ship is akin to a rabbit warren and the decor stuck in the sixties. The pursers desk and shore excursion desk staff were unhelpful and unfriendly. Most often there were no ship's people to facilitate passengers getting on board the correct ground transportation to take them to the various shopping locations in town. Often there were many busses on the pier at the same time. The ship always docked in a container port with no facilities or interests for passengers available without taking an excursion or shuttle to a dismal excuse for a shopping mall. The one exception was Kona where it stood off shore and ferried people in tenders into a nothing little town. The elevators were inadequate in number and repair, often having false floor indicator and hall lantern information displayed. The evening shows were terrible unless you enjoyed a rehash of the Jersey Boys at decibels high enough to injure. As usual we were nickel and dimed to death - $5.00/min for a local phone call, really? Attributes: The ship was reasonably clean. The cabin steward friendly and efficient. The dining room staff excellent. The food, especially the main courses, were very good but the desserts uninspiring. The wine selection although overpriced was reasonable. To summarize, this ship has a captive audience, being the only one that is legal to service Hawaiian waters and it shows it. There are too many people crammed into too small a ship with too many cabins. I am appalled that NCL would sully its good name in such a way! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We (two couples traveling) wanted to see the other Hawaiian islands that we had not visited previously and we thought this would be a great way to do it. We have cruised in the Caribbean on various cruise lines but had never cruised with ... Read More
We (two couples traveling) wanted to see the other Hawaiian islands that we had not visited previously and we thought this would be a great way to do it. We have cruised in the Caribbean on various cruise lines but had never cruised with Norwegian. With all this being said, the only reason I did not rate this cruise line and ship as "terrible" was the location of the cruise and the excursions were pretty good. That's the only thing it did right! The ship needs to be updated, the service is very sub-par, the food is not good, entertainment is poor and the rooms are smaller than competitor's ships. If you do choose to cruise on this ship, do not waste any $$ on the specialty restaurants other than Cagney's. We tried the Jefferson Bistro (had to wait over an hour for our main course and no one seem to care! ..... unbelievable), Cagney's and East Meets West. Cagney's food was good and the service was great. Can't say that about the other two restaurants. The main dining room food was o.k.....we only ate there once. The general dining staff was not friendly at all .... bar staff was friendly and chatty as you would expect. The excursion staff was helpful and friendly. So bottom line, as another reviewer stated, if Norwegian had any competition in Hawaii they would be out of business in a heartbeat. In the future, I will plan my own itinerary in the Hawaiian islands and fly from island to island. I am sure I can plan something better and less expensive than what Norwegian charges for their poor service! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I cant say enough for our room attendant, he was great. He always had a smile and more then willing to accommodate you. Our cabin was the standard Ocean View room, enough space for item for this long of cruise. Now to the real ... Read More
I cant say enough for our room attendant, he was great. He always had a smile and more then willing to accommodate you. Our cabin was the standard Ocean View room, enough space for item for this long of cruise. Now to the real concerns for the trip. Our first hour on ship went up to the Schooner bar, two bloody marys and a whopping $24.00 tab. That's robbery and prices that are charged in Vegas. No glitz or glamor. Then we inquired about drink packages, $22.00 a day per person for the cola, OJ, water package. It went up from there. Inquired about the Wi-Fi package, $20.00 per day, PP. That's what some pay at home, that is the $20.00 per month. Then we find out that the gratuities have gone up, $12.95 PP, per day. Our we subsidizing the cruise line employment compensation. Then every where you go, you are harassed by personnel to buy-up for a special food restaurant. And how about charging you $150.00 to take a tour of the kitchen, bridge, etc.. I have been on many cruises where this is offered as a compliantly tour. I have read that in 2011 they did a 11million renovations to the ship, where? There were chairs that were falling apart, stains of fabric. The ship look worn, tired. It is in a real need to being updated. Windows in the Quill bar, decorative, that were so dirty, you could not see the dishes behind by doors. The entertainment was just o.k. I'm sure that the dance/singing troupe was tired, at least that is what it appeared. The ports of call where great, and the fact that when we landed in Wellington that the museum stayed open was fantastic. The food in the dinning room was tolerable. The chicken specials were always to dried out. The thing that was very disappointing, was we did not get a special dinner, "Lobster" every cruise that we have taken, you are served lobster, now you could have bought it, for an extra "24.95". Tacky. The Dinning room officer was a real jerk when we asked about not having a lobster, he said "you should have been on the Vancouver to Hawaii trip" Tacky. Our dining room servers were great, could not have asked for better service, and he on several meals apologized for what he was serving. The worst was the Baklava dessert, at our table we had 12 guest, 8 ordered this dessert, and eight did not eat it. It tasted as if the nuts were old, rotten. In the last three years we have taken two RC cruises , One to Quebec Canada and the latest to Sydney. Enough of RC. We travel with a group of 12 persons and it has been agreed that has a group we have had disappointing cruise's with Royal. We are going to make a switch. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our 4th. cruise & we were very disappointed with this cruise. We chose NCL, thinking it was going to be the Ultimate Hawaiian cruise vacation to celebrate our 45th anniversary. When arriving, we were happy that we chose a ... Read More
This was our 4th. cruise & we were very disappointed with this cruise. We chose NCL, thinking it was going to be the Ultimate Hawaiian cruise vacation to celebrate our 45th anniversary. When arriving, we were happy that we chose a cabin with a balcony but the problem was a raw sewage stench inside our cabin that was never fixed or went away. I reported it Monday morning because I couldn’t stand the smell all night on Sunday, it seemed like the vent over the bed was blowing this on us. They sent people to fix it but it never got solved all week. You could smell it in the hall also. I asked our neighbor if he had the same problem in his cabin and he replied yes. Question: Was our cabin sitting on the Sewage Tanks? We have been on other cruises and never had a smell in our cabin like this. On our last day Friday, the toilet wouldn’t flush around 6PM so I flushed it again and that’s when the pipe behind the toilet started squirting water like a fountain out of the back and then it started to overflow. Water everywhere and it started seeping onto the cabin carpet, lovely. We called for a plumber and steward. Bathroom had to be sanitized and they fixed the mess. We also had a problem with our cabin steward. He didn’t clean our coffee pot three days in a row; and nothing changed even after I complained about it to Guest Services. Then I told him myself that he forgot again; but he didn’t seem to care, then he removed our coffee cups so we couldn’t have anything. That’s when I stopped bothering with him; I just gave up on the guy. Other people were complaining to him about things also, not just us. We were not impressed with the food in the two Main dining rooms, Skyline and Liberty. Same menu for the whole week in both restaurants, pretty boring. There were a few changes on the left side of the menu but over all food was bland and repetitive. Not impressed. We did have an excellent meal at the Jefferson’s Bistro and this is the kind of food I expected from all the restaurants on the ship. The breakfast and lunch buffets were fine but the dinner buffet was nothing special either. One thing we did enjoy was the entertainment. Upon arriving home we both came down with flu like symptoms and we’ve been sick for 10days. Don’t know if the sewage smell had something to do with that, not very good memories of our vacation. We would not recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
We embarked at 4 pm on 2 November at Honolulu with departure scheduled for 11 pm. Luckily we did not try to embark earlier as other passengers told us that there was a total blockage at around 1 pm. Things went downhill from there. A ... Read More
We embarked at 4 pm on 2 November at Honolulu with departure scheduled for 11 pm. Luckily we did not try to embark earlier as other passengers told us that there was a total blockage at around 1 pm. Things went downhill from there. A suitcase was still missing at 10 pm when Emergency Drill was announced. The muster station shown on the cabin door was entirely different to that shown on our cabin card. We were told to assemble in in the large Theatre, nowhere near the lifeboats as is usual. We sat in the big theatre for over half an hour while, supposedly there was a PA announcement telling us what the emergency procedure was. However, the PA did not work, so we had half an hour of nothing. If there had been a real emergency noone would have known what to do. Also, in a real emergency, most people would aim to be near their lifeboat, not sitting in a theatre from where it would be difficult to exit in a hurry. I believe this non-drill was illegal, as in effect, it was not carried out. Imagine getting on a plane and not having the emergency drill before take-off. When we returned to the cabin at 11 pm, a message on the telephone told us to go down to Level 1 to search for our suitcase. When we arrived, there was no sign of it. We were then told to ask at Guest Relations where of course there was a long queue. Eventually we told the staff that the suitcase was missing. They looked in the office behind the counter, and brought it out. No explanation as to why it had not been delivered, no explanation as to why we were told to scour the ship for it, no apology; Our cabin was good, and cabin attendants excellent. The balcony/verandah was poor with much of the external metal work on the sliding door corroded and peeling, and paint splatter over the floor and glass of the balcony. Activities on the ship were few and poor. There were no movies shown (except two old ones when in port) and if you wanted a movie on the cabin TV you had to pay $13. In fact many things were Pay Extra, like fresh juice at breakfast. Otherwise the juice was concentrated, overly sweet, mush. I asked an attendant if I could get tomato juice. He said it was available but you had to ask for it. There were no signs advising that it was hidden in the fridge under the food counter, and could be asked for. The Ocean Buffet/Cafe food was quite good, but tended to be the same every day. The interior walls were mirrored and gave the impression that there was an opening there. Some people walked into the mirrors thinking they were going through to another room, and were hurt. . Eventually they put stickers over the mirrors to help draw your attention to this fact. Food in the main dining room was fair, and the service good. We both had to send back steak and chops twice due to their toughness or badly cooked state. Our main annoyance was that in the dining room, and most of the other parts of the ship, there was constant muzac being piped through speakers in the rooms going thump-thump. In the dining room it was not easy to engage in conversation due to this. I asked for it to be turned off, or softened, but that was too hard. Good marks to most of the guest lecturers, and to the Showbiz entertainment in the theatre in the evening. We got tired of the overly enthusiastic Cruise Director at every opportunity asking "Are you having fun?” "Have you had a fantastic day?” in a hyped up manner at every opportunity. And some of his assistant activity staff obviously felt they had to act in the same over-the-top manner. Most of what went on (main dining room, buffet, bars, pools, guest relations etc) was at the aft end of the ship, so if you were in a forward cabin, as we were, you had a long trek each time you left the cabin (135 paces to the elevators that took you to the Ocean Cafe). There were 10 elevators, 7 of which were in the aft part of the ship. At the stop in Tahiti, if you wanted to walk around Papeete and return to the ship, you had a half hour wait standing in the hot sun in a long queue returning to the ship. There was only one security channel allowing people to come through singly and slowly. In order to secure Open Dining at any time (or Celebrity Select as they call it) you had to pre-pay gratuities. If you did not do that, you had to opt for fixed time dining at 6.00 pm or 8.30 pm on a fixed table with the same people each time. Those who did not pre-pay gratuities were allowed to amend their daily gratuity charge ($12 pp pd) at the end of the trip, and cancel them entirely if they wished. However, those who pre-paid were not allowed to ask for an adjustment irrespective of it being justified.. As I advised Guest Relations, nowhere in the Celebrity Terms and Conditions does it state this and I will pursue this further. It is interesting to note that the gratuities are not spread around all the crew. They only go to the various waiters and cabin attendants. So the invisible staff (laundry, galley, etc) don't receive any share, whereas I believe other cruise lines spread it to all these staff. A waiter receives $3.71 per guest, per day, whereas the hard-working cabin attendant gets considerably less at $2.34. We wrote a letter to the Captain about the poor emergency drill, the suitcase not being delivered, the poor embarkation procedure in Tahiti etc. Days later we were invited to have a meeting with the Guest Relations Manager (Touch Ung) and the Staff Captain (Pierre Caruana). We found their attitude to our comments dismissive and uninterested. There was certainly no concern, and no apology for any inconvenience. I commented that it was strange to be asked to sit in the theatre during an emergency. Their reply was that in a real emergency we might have to sit there for 12 hours or more until they sorted out the problem. In discussion with other passengers, many shared our view and commented that they had better experiences on other lines, particularly Princess and Holland America. Our disembarkation in Sydney on November 20 was another shambles. We were held back on the ship for over an hour after our pre-advised time. As it happened, we ran into the Guest Relations Manager as we eventually left the ship, and told him that we did not think it had been handled well. His reply was simply: "OK". Summary: in every cabin there is a guest information book. It states that Celebrity was established "promising a vacation that would surpass all others in terms of service, value, sophistication and exceptional quality". In other words, they aim to be better than anyone else. That’s a joke, right? Our experience suggests they fall well short of those aims in all areas except for the junior staff ie cabin attendants, waiters and bar staff.. The more senior staff/officers, with their disdainful air, seem unconcerned and uninterested in comments or complaints .   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
I need to start off by saying we have been to Hawaii at least 7 times in 30 years. This was the first time we tried a cruise. I felt sorry for first timers, since in almost every port we docked by industrial containers and that is not a ... Read More
I need to start off by saying we have been to Hawaii at least 7 times in 30 years. This was the first time we tried a cruise. I felt sorry for first timers, since in almost every port we docked by industrial containers and that is not a pretty sight. In Maui, which is beautiful, NCL could have anchored on the other side by Lahaina and tendered like other ships. This would have been so much nicer since we were there overnight. People could have just gone ashore and explored Lahaina without renting a car. We left the ship for the night and stayed at the Hyatt on Kaanapali beach where we always stay. That was probably the best part of the cruise. Kauai was not to bad but it was by the industrial containers again. If you were on the starboard side you stared at containers for 2 days. We did not book any excursions since we have been there so many times before. We did rent cars on Maui and Hawaii and went to places that we enjoy. The check-in process was very fast and easy, but that is where it stopped. When you walked on board into the main area it was very closed in and oppressive feeling. Heavy drapes and Victorian era furniture. Expected the ship to be very light with a feeling of Hawaii. Absolutely not the case. No feeling of being in the islands at all. The "sail-away" party on deck was accompanied by rock and roll music. Hawaiian music would have been wonderful and helped with the Aloha feel, which was totally lacking. We could not get into our cabin until after 3pm which seemed long. On RCL your cabin in ready by 1pm. We thought we were ready for the small cabin since we had read about it in the reviews. Were we ever wrong. It was difficult for two people to be moving around at the same time. Hardly any storage (drawers especially.) Closet was almost useless. Bathroom was small, but not to bad. Our cabin steward, Jemma, was absolutely wonderful. She fulfilled our every request and kept our cabin clean with ice in the bucket. We also had a wonderful waiter in the Skyline Dining Room, Juan Gonzalez from the Dominican Republic. Every staff member we encountered was helpful, polite, friendly and truly went out of their way to help. We ate in the Aloha Buffet in the mornings and that was good, but they ran out of things very early and only had very greasy bacon, hash browns, and chopped potatoes. All of the other food we ate was very bad. The food in Little Italy was almost edible and the dining room was not much better. We also ate in the Steak House and it was somewhat better. Not even close to comparing to Chops or Portofino's on RCL. I will not write reviews for each port as they are all different and each have their own personalities and experiences. Hawaii is very beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
My dear mother-in-law wanted to see Hawaii "before I die" so three weeks before she turned 91 she took my husband, myself and our son on NCL Pride of America. We sailed January 3rd, 2009. The embarkation was very smooth; we were ... Read More
My dear mother-in-law wanted to see Hawaii "before I die" so three weeks before she turned 91 she took my husband, myself and our son on NCL Pride of America. We sailed January 3rd, 2009. The embarkation was very smooth; we were able to obtain a wheelchair curbside for Mom, personnel were polite and helpful. Our rooms were small, but ready for us. We have all cruised before, so were expecting great food, great service and great times. So far so good. By the end of the cruise we were disgusted. Our room had been vacuumed down the middle every day; there was dirt and garbage under the bed from previous passengers, and along the edges of the carpet. Because one of our pillow cases was turned seam-side-out the second day, we knew the linens were not changed after day two. Also by day three, our towels in the bathroom were stained with yellow streaks (probably sunscreen - just guessing but ya'all know how sunscreen stains show up on whites after washing and drying)and black spots but come on - stained towels should not be hung in guest rooms!; the bathmat the last day had holes in it so big that you could not have dried a dog with it. I took pictures of the towels and bathmat and took them to the help desk; she was "appalled" but nothing was done. So I lowered the mandatory $12 fee per day per person. She was NOT happy about that! "Should you punish the other employees who gave you good service?" Many guests were talking about the cute towel critters that showed up on the beds at night...what critters? We had none. Not a big deal,I know, at least we got the chocolates!(there would have been fur flying if he forgot the chocolates, too!!!) On the plus side, our steward did let us have some ice for our little cooler when we left the ship each day. Now the food...we were impressed the first day by the Aloha Cafe. We ate there the first evening and then for breakfast the next day. It was good, it was hot, we were impressed with the variety for the first few days. All the coffee/juice machines were up and running. Even the outside buffet was up and running. The second evening we ate in the main dining room. Now, we were told there was a dress code. So we all got gussied up and headed out - only to see many diners in jeans, shorts and T-shirts - some men in the longer bathing suits and tank tops. Okay, we are pretty laid back folks, so we figured the rules were only suggestions. It took forever for our food to come. Mom eats very slow, and the waitstaff were not happy about that. They all seemed to disappear if we needed something. The food was so-so, not great. Mom preferred the Aloha Cafe as she could take as much time as she needed to eat and choose what she wanted. By the 4th day we realized the menu never varied, and each day the freshness was worse. Some of the pastries could have been used as hockey pucks (go Red Wings!)...the outside buffet was down to a few items for breakfast and the beverage machines out there were "out-of-order". The juice dispensers two days in a row were dispensing mostly water. When we complained, nothing was done. That is another thing - complaints were never worth the trouble or time. Each day the food and service were worse. When I mentioned it to an employee in another area of the ship I was told they do that on purpose so we would start eating at the restaurants we had to pay extra for!We did eat at Teppanyaki for our son's 21st birthday. We had arranged for a birthday cake but they acted like they never heard of doing that. It finally came, partially frozen. It was fun to watch the chef, but the food wasn't all that great. It was okay, but the steak wasn't as tender as we expected. On a side note, the other group at the table were told the extra cost was $15 per person not $25 per person. They raised a real ruckus when the bill came, which was uncomfortable for everyone else; not that I blamed them. We had reservations and still had to stand around for almost 30 minutes. I finally asked for a chair for Mom and suddenly our table was ready. We had two waitstaff - who were not the friendliest. The waitress turned out to be the same one we had a problem with at the Cadillac Diner the day before - she forgot to bill us for our shakes and when we realized that as we were walking away, we came back but were told by the manager the shakes were on them. We could see her getting a talking to as we left. I saved up my pennies for months to splurge on myself at the spa. I was not disappointed. It was incredibly expensive, but I felt so pampered. Hey, every gal should do that at least once in her life! The facial was wonderful and I got a pedicure, too. When the cheapy flip-flop broke, flipped up and smeared all the polish on my left foot, the woman was very gracious and redid the polish. She was professional all the way and I felt so relaxed and pampered. Kudos to her! She was the assistant manager. The shore excursions were expensive. Because Mom had trouble with steps, we rented vehicles four times. We wanted to go snorkeling but didn't want to pay $100 per person for about an hour in the water. So we found a Boss Frog Surf Shop on Maui, rented our gear for under $30 total(including Rx mask);the owner directed us to an awesome snorkeling beach where we waddled into the water (how else would you describe trying to enter the water with fins on? We laughed ourselves silly!)and the reef was 20 feet from shore with so many colorful fish, sea urchins, coral and other critters. We did do the ship excursion Luau;so-so food but the show was great. Someone else mentioned the long, long wait for the bus back but we lucked out and got on one within 20 minutes. We drove the road to Hana on Maui and it was so awesome! Would do that again! Just be careful about buying food from the side of the road...we asked at one spot to use the restroom and were told they didn't have one, not even running water. On the way over to check out the BBQ, I noticed the "chef" putting raw chicken on the grill then dishing cooked chicken up...and I didn't see him clean his hands in between...gag. Also, there are very few restrooms the whole way so when you see one, use it! One serious flaw we experienced - doesn't this ship have stabilizers? The waves out at sea were reported at 5-7 feet but that ship rocked back and forth so much even the staff were staggering. With Mom being nearly 91, we were having to hold on to her all the time. We have cruised Royal Caribbean with much bigger waves and you could hardly feel the waves on that cruise. Mom was afraid to take a shower unless we were in port. So if you are elderly, beware. All in all, I doubt we will ever cruise NCL again. Very disappointed in food, service and cabin cleanliness. As a "traveling hotel" it was one expensive hotel. Even though we complained, on the ship and to the cruise line when we returned home, I felt that not one employee really cared. Save your money and just go to Maui or Kauai or both. We loved those two islands the most and will return to them - but not to NCL no matter where they go!I am wondering if adding the mandatory $12 charge per passenger per day has anything to do with the poor service. Why should they make any effort, extra or normally, if they are guaranteed their portion of that money? Hmm, just a thought. Read Less

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