Pride of Aloha - Hawaii: Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by Richard H
Overall Member Rating
Pride of Aloha - Hawaii
If you want to see as much of Hawaii as possible in a week, a cruise is the way to go. And, Norwegian is the only line that can spend all seven days in Hawaii.
This is a port-intensive cruise with only one half-day at sea. It moves from port to port at night. That is great for those who dont enjoy days at seas, but a negative for those who do.
This was our fifth cruise and, like most things in life, it had its positives and negatives.
Embarkation and disembarkation were both very fast and easy.
Freestyle, which allows you to eat without regard to assigned dining times, was a plus for us&particularly on this cruise where you are in ports everyday and dont want to have to worry about getting back to the ship for early dining.
The food in the two main dining rooms (Palace and Crossings) was as good as More any we have had on our other cruises. Food on the buffet line was typical (OK), and was supplemented with omelet stations, pasta stations, carving stations, etc. Contrary to other reviews, we never experienced long lines.
For the most part, the entertainment was as good as on most of our previous cruises, and better than some.
The ship was nicer than I expected and pretty well maintained.
This route provides more beautiful scenery than you will find anywhere else on a seven-day cruise. We enjoyed all the ports, with the Island of Kauai and Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii being our favorites.
In some areas, the ship seemed understaffed. I understand Norwegian must use only U.S. citizens on this route and, frankly, that is the problem. While foreign staff on most cruises have been with the ship for years and view their work as a career, the Americans dont take that attitude, and I suspect there is great turnover. Most were friendly and working hard, but I just didnt detect the commitment one is accustomed to on most ships. Our cabin attendant was nice and pleasant, but didnt seem too bright or organized. She was always getting things mixed up and forgetting thingslike the daily newsletter, turn down service, and replacing wash clothes and an empty box of Kleenex.
In our cabin (on 6A) we sometimes had to run the hot water for more than 5 minutes before it became hot. At other times, it was instantly hot. Not a big deal, but certainly an annoyance.
Entertainment, at least in the Stardust Theater, was offered mostbut not allevenings. The theater was dark the night Norwegian was trying to sell its $98 a person luau.
On the one half day we were at sea, the main pool was drained. This probably was just a one-time mechanical problem, but a disappointment nevertheless.
In terms of scheduling, there is a need for quality control. For example, the newsletter might list an event as starting at 4:00 p.m., and the activity director might announce it as starting at 3:30 p.m. The newsletter listed the Palace Restaurant as opening at 5:30 one evening, but the electronic board in the atrium (which gives the status of each restaurant) showed it as closed at 5:45 p.m. (It really was open.)
Since the ship boards some passengers at Maui on Friday and others at Honolulu on Sundays, the life boat drill is weird. It was scheduled for Sunday, so we had already sailed between two islands before it was offered, then it was offered at a time when passengers were still in port. We didnt attend, and no one said anything about it.
If you want to see Hawaii, dont let the negatives discourage you. Just think of the cruise ship as your portable hotel, dont sweat the lack of perfection, and you will have lots of fun. Less
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