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2 Norwegian (NCL) Maui Cruise Reviews

For those who previously gave reviews for the Hawaiian Cruise via Norwegian Pride Of America you should be ashamed of yourselves. Either you had very low expectations, it was your first time cruising, or you out and out lied (?). This was ... Read More
For those who previously gave reviews for the Hawaiian Cruise via Norwegian Pride Of America you should be ashamed of yourselves. Either you had very low expectations, it was your first time cruising, or you out and out lied (?). This was my third cruise and by far the worst I've been on. I will never, ever get on another Norwegian Cruise ship because it was horrible compared to the other two cruises I’ve been on. I wish someone would've posted some honest constructive posts like I’m about to do before we left for our cruise so it could’ve saved me a lot of money and aggravation. I know many of you will think I’m coming off as a cranky penny pinching old man but I'm not. I'm a realist who offers constructive criticism and feedback that if the cruise line incorporates will make them much better. Processing onto the ship was painfully slow, unorganized and took almost an hour of my life that I’ll never get back. Once we got on the ship there were people there in uniform but they acted like they were celebrities instead of working for the ship and more importantly the customers. No one was there to say "welcome aboard", "let me see what room you’re in” and/or your rooms are this way". It was like they assumed we should've known where to go or what to do next. Sure there were thousands of guests that needed to board but we weren’t all boarding at the same time but we all expect the same personal greeting and welcoming. Eventually I asked someone with a ship badge “where do we go” and she seemed very annoyed and halfheartedly pointed us to the elevators. I paid for two balcony rooms (one for my wife and one for my in laws). Taking the in laws was my suggestion but an afterthought which resulted in us booking their cruise two days after we booked ours. We wanted us both to have balcony rooms next to each other (like we did on the Alaskan cruise) but were told we couldn't choose our own room and that it was the luck of the draw (?). I'm not sure how true that is but if it is true its total crap and should be based on first come first served (we booked both cruises about a year in advance). Tip one if you want a balcony DO NOT let then stick you in the Port (left) side of the ship because your views consist of nothing but open waters, docks warehouses (“PORTS”, duh I know now but now you know) as opposed to the scenic shorelines and harbor views. At each port we were exposed to broken down rusted buildings, large trucks and heavy equipment running all day and night making the balcony virtually useless. Tip 2 do not let them stick you on the 10th floor with metal angled girders that obstruct your view (like a horse with blinders on). We paid the same price for both rooms but the conditions were vastly different. People on the starboard side should have to pay more than the port side and people on the 10th floor with the angled girders should pay less than everyone below them. Compared to other cruise lines it felt like the rooms are smaller (if you can imagine that) and smaller than a motor home. The mandatory safety drill was an absolute JOKE and such a waste of time that we'll never get back. More than likely a bureaucratic government regulation with no results or benefits to anyone involved (especially the paying customer). Sounded like the person giving instructions had the microphone down his throat (or up his ass) because he was gargling, moaning and groaning with a foreign accent (I’m sure it’s not Politically Correct but it’s the truth so get over it). Even the workers couldn’t make “Heads Or Tails” of what he (or she?) was saying. Surely they can make this a better experience. Breakfast chefs were sooooooo slow to cook omelets it was painful to watch. I've been to many locations and destinations where the chef's knock out omelets in record time. These guys took at least 10 minutes per omelet. By the time you they made it everything else on your plate was cold. Buffett food was plentiful but Luke warm at best. The food at the restaurants were small portion for the complimentary dishes and eh alright at the buffet. Back of the ship provided awesome seating for dining. Norwegian Cruise lines hire mostly Americans to bus tables, bartend, and wait tables. They incorporate a 20% built in gratuity into every charge whether the employees deserve it or not which is 50% of the time at best. I’m as pro American as they get but in this case it was not a good experience. It’s why in my opinion that unions, welfare and entitlement programs don’t work because there’s no repercussion for bad service. You would think that hiring Americans would be a good thing (and it is for them) but the it was sad to see that the service and attention to detail is so evidently missing from their foreign counterparts on this cruise and other cruises. The shows absolutely sucked and are for the oldest of people who couldn’t make it because they’re most likely dying in nursing homes. Carnival Cruise lines had top notch comedians, bands and shows. These imbeciles are playing Lawrence Welk crap that even my 77 year old in laws didn't recognize. They did have one magician who was pretty good and worth seeing. It's amazing how many inconsiderate, rude people were continually coming in late and standing around like idiots obstructing the views of the timely considerate people. The ship ought to take these rude people into consideration and stop them at the door. They should also know where the available seats are so they can usher these slow inconsiderate butt’s to their seats ASAP. I went to three shows and the same people were late to every show. The ship had so much wasted space that they could put too so much better use and/or multiple use. They had a net for driving golf balls that was about 10 feet long. No golfer is going to use that and it was a waste of space. There was an upper, upper deck that were NEVER used along with cubicles on the upper deck for privacy that were also NEVER used. The upper deck could’ve been used for a movie theatre and matinee during the day for kids and/or concert area. There should be pools tables in at least one of the bars. The cruise line should incorporate miniature (putt-putt) golf along the perimeter of upper deck (they had it on other cruises and it was a blast). There’s companies who make environmentally safe golf balls that the cruise line can purchase and resell for a profit (hello) and let the guest drive them off the ship into the ocean. I’m sure environmental enthusiasts would whine and complain but I’m also sure they make these types of golf balls that these nimrods would approve as well. In addition the cruise line can offer golf lessons again for a profit or upcharge (hello again). As far as Hawaii I have to be honest that for the life of me I do not see what the big deal is? It's hard to tell the difference from the homeless to actual residents. For the most part the islands are old, rusty and decaying. At Waikiki I felt like we were in Japan because of all the Asian people riddled all over the place. We didn’t have a problem with any of them but they sure do dominate the island they tried to destroy during WWII. The excursions we chose (snorkeling, Segway, Kayaking, Zip lining and helicopter ride) were all good enough but we really enjoyed the Snorkeling and Segway. The zip line guys were very nice but the runs were very short and not very exciting (mostly because I’ve done it before). The helicopter excursion we took held six people which meant two people would have to sit in the middle seats in the back with limited and obstructed views. As luck would have it I was one of those stuck in the middle. Once again we paid the same price as the other four people but they had breathe taking window seats and we were stuck in the middle catching glimpses here and there. If you’re going to take a helicopter excursion I recommend choosing a helicopter ride that seats four people so everyone gets the best views and experience. The kayaking seemed more like a race than an excursion. There was only two stops and we passed up some rope swings in order to get their camp site in a timely manner. The hike to the water fall was treacherous but I enjoyed it but it wasn’t for people with ailments and limitations. Once we reached the bottom to experience the water falls there was no blue lagoon but instead a stick invested mud hole. Again the guides were nice but the overall experience was eh, alright but not with $100 apiece. The Hawaiians main source of income is tourism and they exploit it at every chance they get and have a captured audience but some are better than others and it’s not always based on the price. Many people rented cars at every stop for $50 or less and did their own excursions and shopped at the local Wal-Mart’s for souvenirs for half the price. Overall I think those people had the best time and saved the most money too. We also found that the taxi drivers give great tours for a little extra money but they will run up the meter on you so specify how much you want to spend and/or see. I think the cruise line should sell lanyards “with a plastic sleeve” on the bottom to hold the boats card, ID and cash (similar to what the crew gets). I’d also suggest that the cruise line be proactive and think outside the box by going on other cruise lines and see what they're doing better than you’re doing (I think they call it benchmarking). Also consider going to destinations and see what they're doing (Destin Florida Hilton resort for omelets). Hire someone who’ll shake things up and get paid a salary and bonus based on a percentage of how much they can increase your throughout and repeat customer rate. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I plus four friends are frequent cruisers and wanted experience a Hawaiian Island cruise, When we did our research we found that unless you wanted to sail from the west coast of the US the only available ship was NCL Pride of ... Read More
My wife and I plus four friends are frequent cruisers and wanted experience a Hawaiian Island cruise, When we did our research we found that unless you wanted to sail from the west coast of the US the only available ship was NCL Pride of America which is a US Flagged Ship. We had heard and read mixed reviews on the ship due to the predominate American crew 75%+. I won't spend time raving about the places we visited but I will tell you about the outstanding service we received. From our first minutes on the ship we were greeted by smiling faces and helpful personnel. We're all wine drinkers and Beyonce was working the John Adams Coffee Bar and she helped us understand the value of the Wine Package, very nice selection. As we toured the ship we stopped in the various watering holes (Gold Rush Saloon and Key West Bar) to sample the ships beers also a great value by the bucket. In addition to the crew the real surprise on the Pride Of America is the food it's the best any of us ever had on a cruise ship. We had our first dinner at Cagney's Steakhouse. What a great venue and the food was awesome. There were six of us dinning together and everyone's food was served together and as requested. The steaks were cooked to perfection and the side dishes were delicious. We enjoyed almost every one of the specialty venues on the ship. The highlight was the night we dined at the Chef's table. We were schedule to attend a Luau that night but cancelled because had just attend one the night before we boarded the ship. As luck would have it the ships Maitre d Dustin whom we got to know the first night on the ship inquired if we had plans for Thursday evening. Dustin said they had some cancellation for the Chef's table and he know we liked to have good time. Knowing the quality of the food on the ship we all jumped at the opportunity. It was an amazing meal prepared by Errol the Executive Chef, 9 courses over 3 hours with wine pairings, dessert and after drink. Even though our cruise was interrupted by Tropical Storm Ana we had an awesome time on the cruise, Interacting with the crew and meeting crew members from our local area was a real treat. I would highly recommend NCL Pride of America to anyone wanting to tour the Hawaiian Islands. Great value, Great Service, Awesome food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
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