Pride of America Cruise Review by billbraz789
- Sail Date: September 2017
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
We boarded the ship without a problem and found our cabin. We went up for a drink while waiting for the luggage to arrive. We checked for the luggage around 6:30 PM and found my wife's bag by the door. No sign of my bag. So, we went up for another drink and decided to return to the room after about an hour. We came down the other end of the hallway and saw a single bag about 10 doors down from ours. As we got closer, we saw that it was indeed my bag. I hauled it into the room, thankful that it wasn't lost. It had the cabin number on the bag. At least they got it close to our room, so someone must have read the tag. Later, we asked guest services why the bag wasn't delivered to the room. They said that sometimes things like that happen. OK.
Later on the first night, we decided to get a night cap at the Waikiki Bar on the 13th deck. My wife ordered a chardonnay and the bartender said that they didn't have any. The only white wine they had was a white zinfandel. I said, "Really? You're out of chardonnay on the first day of the cruise?" The bartender had some story about the hurricanes causing a shipping issue. I reminded her that much of the chardonnay comes from California. She insisted that she would rather not be having this conversation, and never offered any suggestions. So, we went to another bar and got a chardonnay. Back to guest services where we explained what had happened. The attendant apologized and that appeared to be it, until an officer overheard our story. She produced a voucher for a free bottle of wine, which we gladly accepted. The following day, a bottle of wine appeared in our room, along with a letter from the beverage officer giving her apologies. So this worked out alright for us.
I was taken aback by the markup they have on drinks. A 16 oz. Budweiser was $7, plus the 18% "tip" that's added to everything. So even if you get a lousy drink or bad service, they get an exceptional tip. The employees love it since they get a decent wage from the price gouging. I'm sure NCL gets a cut of the "tip." It made me clearly see that NCL is a business first, leaving the customer second. If your wallet is infinitely fat, the ripoff prices won't bother you. Evidence of greed is the giant photo viewing area and a massive jewelry store. Both are likely big profit centers or they wouldn't devote some much deck space to them. Oh yeah, an 8x10" photo costs a cool $25. And cabin cleaning is a cool $15/day/person. Boy! That would really add up across multiple cabins.
Lastly, I think the ship is simply too big for some of those ports. It should be about half the size (and the cost). I believe NCL has an "arrangement" with the Hawaiian government since they are the only cruise line available in Hawaii. If we had a choice, we likely would have chosen something other than NCL.
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