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Except for 2 disappointing cancellations by NCL, the cruise on Pride of America mostly lived up to our expectations. NCL’s goodwill gesture of a $100 non-refundable per cabin credit in no way equated to the elimination of sailing Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. The week long Hawaiian cruise was marketed and sold to include sailing that Na Pali coast. NCL did not honor that contract for asserted reasons of a lifeboat maintenance matter. Maintenance evidently not critical enough to address until 9 days after passenger notification. Unfortunate for us passengers, the maintenance was scheduled at our expense without an acceptable reimbursement for change of service. In summary, NCL sold the cruise as advertised, then altered the cruise for a NCL matter and placated passengers with a $100 non-refundable credit. A credit that could only be used for unplanned extra onboard purchases; a credit that does not cost NCL a full $100. What a great deal for NCL; reduce service, save 3 ½ hours of fuel, and increase onboard purchases. Moreover, the mandatory 20% gratuities for the additional onboard purchases could not be applied against the credit. Irritating. The fine print likely states NCL has the authority to change any aspect of the cruise at their discretion. Must have been an inconvenience to NCL to schedule maintenance while the ship is docked in Honolulu for 12 hours. Bottom line - - Passengers were deprived of a portion of the Hawaiian cruise as NCL profited from the altered cruise. If you don’t consider the altered sailing route and high cost of adult beverages, we enjoyed our cruise on Pride of America. The cruise was well organized, though did not provide full value as sold. All cruise staff were friendly. We felt safe throughout the cruise. The food was very good as was the majority of the entertainment. Our cabin steward kept our cabin very tidy. All ship windows were disgustingly filthy. The second disappointment was the cancellation of a NCL excursion due to unexpected maintenance of the operator’s equipment. However, when contacting the vendor, they did not state to have an equipment issue. So, I assume NCL cancelled the excursion because they did not have enough passengers to make the excursion profitable. Lastly, NCL’s alcoholic beverage program / policy discourages us from considering future cruises. We are not heavy alcoholic beverage drinkers. Nor, can we come anywhere close to justifying the purchase of one of NCL’s alcoholic beverage packages. NCL needs to reduce the price of individual alcoholic beverages or ease the restriction for alcohol brought onboard by passengers. From our recent cruise experience, our group has no immediate intention of considering another cruise.

Ship maintenance at passengers' expense

Pride of America Cruise Review by TripJack

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
Except for 2 disappointing cancellations by NCL, the cruise on Pride of America mostly lived up to our expectations.

NCL’s goodwill gesture of a $100 non-refundable per cabin credit in no way equated to the elimination of sailing Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. The week long Hawaiian cruise was marketed and sold to include sailing that Na Pali coast. NCL did not honor that contract for asserted reasons of a lifeboat maintenance matter. Maintenance evidently not critical enough to address until 9 days after passenger notification. Unfortunate for us passengers, the maintenance was scheduled at our expense without an acceptable reimbursement for change of service. In summary, NCL sold the cruise as advertised, then altered the cruise for a NCL matter and placated passengers with a $100 non-refundable credit. A credit that could only be used for unplanned extra onboard purchases; a credit that does not cost NCL a full $100. What a great deal for NCL; reduce service, save 3 ½ hours of fuel, and increase onboard purchases. Moreover, the mandatory 20% gratuities for the additional onboard purchases could not be applied against the credit. Irritating. The fine print likely states NCL has the authority to change any aspect of the cruise at their discretion. Must have been an inconvenience to NCL to schedule maintenance while the ship is docked in Honolulu for 12 hours. Bottom line - - Passengers were deprived of a portion of the Hawaiian cruise as NCL profited from the altered cruise.

If you don’t consider the altered sailing route and high cost of adult beverages, we enjoyed our cruise on Pride of America. The cruise was well organized, though did not provide full value as sold. All cruise staff were friendly. We felt safe throughout the cruise. The food was very good as was the majority of the entertainment. Our cabin steward kept our cabin very tidy. All ship windows were disgustingly filthy.

The second disappointment was the cancellation of a NCL excursion due to unexpected maintenance of the operator’s equipment. However, when contacting the vendor, they did not state to have an equipment issue. So, I assume NCL cancelled the excursion because they did not have enough passengers to make the excursion profitable.

Lastly, NCL’s alcoholic beverage program / policy discourages us from considering future cruises. We are not heavy alcoholic beverage drinkers. Nor, can we come anywhere close to justifying the purchase of one of NCL’s alcoholic beverage packages. NCL needs to reduce the price of individual alcoholic beverages or ease the restriction for alcohol brought onboard by passengers.

From our recent cruise experience, our group has no immediate intention of considering another cruise.
TripJack’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 7080
Cabin steward kept our cabin very tidy. Cabin was typically a bit tight. Toilet did not work for a few hours one day. Obstructed view cabin was acceptable as the widow was quite large. But, window was disgustingly filthy as were all ship windows. Ship does not have stabilizer technology. Thus, sleeping a few nights was rocky.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Volcano National Park & Hilo Waterfall Tour
    Small cramped bus. Many stops for photos. Need longer time at primary attraction - Volcano NP. Grab Macadamia Nut Fact tour rather than eating lunch.
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  • Luau
    Excellent entertainment, average food , TERRIBLE transportation
    DO NOT use transportation from Waikiki provided by Chief’s Luau. We purchased Chief’s transportation and arrived at the Luau an hour after the venue opened. That’s nearly a 30% loss of the Luau experience. Granted, traffic was particularly heavy, but no planning or action was taken to assure a timely arrival. Matter of fact, Chief’s Luau staff on our bus stated “ We are on Hawaii Time and will get there, when we get there”. Unacceptable remark. I paid an admission charge for the full Luau experience. And, for an additional fee, I expected their transportation service to arrive at the venue much more timely.
    The show performance was wonderful. The venue is very accommodating, though not a beach atmosphere. Venue staff were very friendly and helpful. Well organized and efficient buffet meal. PLEASE NOTE, this is a buffet meal but DO NOT expect a return for a second helping of food. By 7:00, the food service tables were dismantled. That was less than 15 minutes after our initial pass of the food buffet tables. Reality is contrary to a staff member’s emphatic statement the buffet is all you can eat.
    Regarding the transportation, there is no concern for a timely arrival to the show venue. When questioned about the frequency of late arrivals, the Chief’s staff on the bus stated “sometimes this happens or even worse”. With that knowledge, Chief’s is mistaken not to have an earlier departure from Waikiki. An untimely start at the bus pick up added to the late arrival. Luau guests arrived at the pick up location no later than 3:50pm. Our bus began the boarding process at 4:00. I don’t understand why the bus sat inactive in a staging area from 3:40; particularly with traffic concerns. A more efficient pick up could have saved 15 minutes. Also, the second pick up stop (the harbor) caused at least another 20 minutes loss. With our bus already behind schedule, a second bus could have made the harbor pick up. A 30 minute late arrival to the Luau would have been more acceptable than missing a whole hour.
    View All 43 Luau Reviews
  • Pearl Harbor
    Excellent very knowledgable tour guide. Well organized and timely. Included additional Ohau sites other than Pearl Harbor. Was not rushed during tour.
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  • Waimea Canyon
    Nice attraction to visit. Tour does not spend enough time at the main attraction. Guide had too much knowledge to share. Ask to skip the last stop Spouting Horn.
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  • Kona (Kailua Bay)
    Good experience at Mountain Home and Hula Dady Coffee planatations. Also a good stop at the Original Hawaiian Choclolate Factory tour. Cars are easliy rented.
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  • Maui
    Highly recommend this tour of a working plantation. Well organized and tour guides very knowledgeable with the cultivation and marketing of pineapples as well as the historical aspects. Norwegian Cruise Line will allow pineapples to be brought onboard; contrary to the tour guides assertion. Tour reservation easily made. We rented a car near the Kahului port for an easy 10 mile scenic drive to the tour site. Gained knowledge of the pineapple growing cycle, loved sampling the best pineapple we’ve ever eaten, and enjoyed great distance views of Haleakala. Failed to take our free pineapples as tour guide mistakenly stated NCL would not allow pineapples brought onboard. Makai Glass blowing is at the same location and worthy of viewing. Makawao was our next stop. Tour guide recommended a very good burger stop – Stopwatch Grill .
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