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First time to Hawaii and took this cruise because I did not want to be at sea out of CA for 4 days. Not our first cruise, as we have been on 8 others with RC, Carnival, and Princess, but I doubt I'll ever be back with Norwegian. Service was poor, probably due to the mandatory 20% gratuity on all bills. The staff knows that nobody will tip above the mandatory 20%, so they never try to ask if you need anything. We sat by the pool on day 1 for hours and had to go to the bar to get our own drinks; the staff simply collected used cups like busboys. This continued all trip with the wait staff in the bar and food areas, along with the room steward. The room steward did the basics, but was never available after the room was made up. First time I've left a cruise and did not tip the room steward. Food in the Liberty dining room was overly salted. On subsequent days, our group started ordering multiple entrees hoping one would be good, but we had multiple meals overly salted (NOTICE how many times the complaint of over salted food comes up in these reviews; it can't be just me if it gets written a bunch). The wait staff tried hard to keep up, but with so many people dining "whenever", they were overwhelmed with multiple tables. Dinners for our table usually started at 6:30 and we were never finished by 9:00. On two days, we waited over 45 minutes between being served appetizers and being served entrees. We finally stopped going to the dining room. Food in the Aloha Cafe is average at best and is pretty much the same day to day with little variation. The one bright spot was the dinner we had in the Cadillac Diner. Food was nothing special, but the overwhelming good service for our group had us leaving a cash tip. And the leader of the wait staff here was very attentive and made sure our experience was great. She should be put in charge of the Liberty Dining Room and maybe things would get better. The excursions off the ship were good, and cost was in line with other areas of the world. We had good experiences with all of our planned excursions. Overall, we got to where we wanted to be OFF the ship as much as we could, since the experience was far better off ship. Our choice changed to spend money on a great dinner in a Hawaiiian port when possible, and leave satisfied with the food and the service instead of being on the ship. The sad thing is that I've written this review now, and my experience was the worst of any cruise I've ever taken, and yet, I spent the most money ever on any cruise. Needless to say, I'll go back to the other cruise lines and make sure I don't take NCL again. And while I write this I'm fully aware that the execs at NCL will never care or act on this, or on my survey I sent in. My only hope is that I've property warned you to know what to expect before you take this cruise and while you'll love seeing Hawaii, you'll be ready for a very poor onboard experience. If you have prior cruise experience, temper your expectations. If this is your first cruise, you likely will think it was a fine time, until you go on a different cruise line and realize the difference. Signed, So Very Disappointed.

Convinced not to go on Norwegian again

Pride of America Cruise Review by the real cruise maniac

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
First time to Hawaii and took this cruise because I did not want to be at sea out of CA for 4 days. Not our first cruise, as we have been on 8 others with RC, Carnival, and Princess, but I doubt I'll ever be back with Norwegian. Service was poor, probably due to the mandatory 20% gratuity on all bills. The staff knows that nobody will tip above the mandatory 20%, so they never try to ask if you need anything. We sat by the pool on day 1 for hours and had to go to the bar to get our own drinks; the staff simply collected used cups like busboys. This continued all trip with the wait staff in the bar and food areas, along with the room steward. The room steward did the basics, but was never available after the room was made up. First time I've left a cruise and did not tip the room steward.

Food in the Liberty dining room was overly salted. On subsequent days, our group started ordering multiple entrees hoping one would be good, but we had multiple meals overly salted (NOTICE how many times the complaint of over salted food comes up in these reviews; it can't be just me if it gets written a bunch). The wait staff tried hard to keep up, but with so many people dining "whenever", they were overwhelmed with multiple tables. Dinners for our table usually started at 6:30 and we were never finished by 9:00. On two days, we waited over 45 minutes between being served appetizers and being served entrees. We finally stopped going to the dining room. Food in the Aloha Cafe is average at best and is pretty much the same day to day with little variation. The one bright spot was the dinner we had in the Cadillac Diner. Food was nothing special, but the overwhelming good service for our group had us leaving a cash tip. And the leader of the wait staff here was very attentive and made sure our experience was great. She should be put in charge of the Liberty Dining Room and maybe things would get better.

The excursions off the ship were good, and cost was in line with other areas of the world. We had good experiences with all of our planned excursions.

Overall, we got to where we wanted to be OFF the ship as much as we could, since the experience was far better off ship. Our choice changed to spend money on a great dinner in a Hawaiiian port when possible, and leave satisfied with the food and the service instead of being on the ship. The sad thing is that I've written this review now, and my experience was the worst of any cruise I've ever taken, and yet, I spent the most money ever on any cruise. Needless to say, I'll go back to the other cruise lines and make sure I don't take NCL again. And while I write this I'm fully aware that the execs at NCL will never care or act on this, or on my survey I sent in. My only hope is that I've property warned you to know what to expect before you take this cruise and while you'll love seeing Hawaii, you'll be ready for a very poor onboard experience. If you have prior cruise experience, temper your expectations. If this is your first cruise, you likely will think it was a fine time, until you go on a different cruise line and realize the difference. Signed, So Very Disappointed.
the real cruise maniac’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA
As above, the room steward did the basics. I'm not really WOWED by seeing a towel animal on the bed when I come back to my room, but I am surprised when I call and ask for ice, and it takes several hours for it to show up. Room was smaller than other cruise lines, but expected on an older ship. The bed was absolutely uncomfortable, and I am one that sleeps pretty much anywhere.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Hollywood - Hawaii
    The Director's Cut-- a MUST! We enjoyed this tour more than any other. Our guide-- Kaleo-- was the highlight of the trip! He's a funny, intelligent and caring guide. I would take his tour every time I was there, if I could. You saw different sights of the island, along with clips from movies using that exact site. Very good tour, and one I would recommend. Just make sure you get on Kaleo's bus and you won't be disappointed! (He kind of looks like Dwayne Johnson).
    View All 23 Hollywood - Hawaii Reviews
  • Molokini Crater
    A great experience snorkeling! The staff on the ship was excellent! Sadie took plenty of time answering questions. Take this if you like to snorkel.
    View All 43 Molokini Crater Reviews