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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Sailed on January 20th, 2018. I’m trying to come up with a few positive mentions, but it’s very difficult. Pros: Most of the crew we encountered were extremely nice Water pressure in the bathroom was great ... Read More
Sailed on January 20th, 2018. I’m trying to come up with a few positive mentions, but it’s very difficult. Pros: Most of the crew we encountered were extremely nice Water pressure in the bathroom was great Cons: Ship is very old and not even close to a “Luxury” cruise ship. Design of ship is boring and not exciting…because it’s an OLD SHIP Food in the buffet was pathetic and not much better in free dining rooms Food in the pay restaurants was a notch or two up from pathetic Nickel and dime you for everything Cabins with balconies are very small. Bathrooms basic and small…really small Only saw our cabin girl on the last day and she was not very pleasant. This really was a terrible waste of money. We really could have spent just a little more and hopped from island to island. Having been on 2 other cruise and experienced what a real luxury cruise ship is like, I cannot recommend this ship. Awful Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We sailed on the sister ship Pride of Aloha 11 years ago. We felt this would be a gret experience again. We started our adventure in Honalulu The day before the cruise. I was fun exploring. Embarkationa and disembarkation went very ... Read More
We sailed on the sister ship Pride of Aloha 11 years ago. We felt this would be a gret experience again. We started our adventure in Honalulu The day before the cruise. I was fun exploring. Embarkationa and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were told that our 2 cabins would have connecting balconies. When we arrived instead was adjoining rooms. In hindsight, a ship of this age would not have connecting balconies. We were still very comfortable. We saw a couple of very entertaining shows; A magic show, broadway type musical, and comedian. The food was good, but I was surprised not to see more seafood on the menu. Most of the service was good, but not as good as other ships I have been on. Sadly, we had to wait for 45 minutes to be served our drinks in the Pink Champagne Bar. We booked all of our excursions on our own with no problems. It was a great cruise to explore the different islands, but there was really no down time to enjoy the ship. We were in port each day. since this was the 2nd time for me, I will not be taking this cruise again. I will fly to my favorite island and stay a few days or a week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because my husband was doing his CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits on board. This was our FIRST NCL cruise. We have sailed on ocean cruises numerous times with a variety of cruise lines from Deluxe to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband was doing his CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits on board. This was our FIRST NCL cruise. We have sailed on ocean cruises numerous times with a variety of cruise lines from Deluxe to Luxury; we have also sailed with a private company in the Galapagos as well as river cruises in Europe. Both my husband and I were both pleasantly surprised. The positives: (1) embarkation was a breeze, (2) Officers, Staff & Crew were overall very polite, friendly and helpful, (3) the ship was maintained spotlessly clean and very nicely decorated, (4) easy on and off in ports of call, and all were very different and loads of FUN!, (5) service tended to be spot on, (6) entertainment was better than we had expected, (7) a wide variety of food selection offerings in both the main restaurants and buffets which was surprisingly DELICIOUS!, (8) no Hard Sells pitches for this and that, which was refreshing ... and (9) finally -- THE PASSENGERS! Passengers can make or break your experience on a cruise. The passengers on this cruise were respectful, very nice, and very friendly. That truly does leave a lasting impression, and does make a difference in how much everyone onboard enjoys their cruise. Now ... for the not so positives: (1) Balcony cabin was very small and the bathroom was very poorly designed, (2) NCL holds a monopoly on those passengers that are short on time and are willing to fly out to Hawaii to take a cruise. There are other cruises (from NCL's closest competitors) leaving from the West Coast that are less expensive, and this includes a Transpacific crossing. Having said that, I believe the price point is just a tad high for this particular voyage. (3) Logistics nightmare for seeing the Comedian for the second time during the voyage. He was moved from the theater to a much smaller venue. The 7:30 show was a Mad House and Mayhem; no where to sit, the servers couldn't get to people to serve drinks, there was a Crew member shouting at passengers to leave and come back for the 10:30 show; honestly, upon further review I really can't blame him, but it definitely was not the way I wanted to end our cruise. We just decided to leave as we had no other choice. So, suggestion here would be to add an additional time for the Comedian as he was very funny, and we are sorry we missed his second show. IN SUMMARY: Overall, we would sail with NCL again. However, we try to compare apples to apples when we make our cruise selections, and we generally like to UP PAY for more inclusions. NCL's business model is more on the simple side of you get meals & board along with your entertainment; what I refer to as "deluxe" cruises. We have become quite spoiled with our voyages on "premium" and "luxury" lines. We generally upgrade on our voyages, or we receive some additional perks such as premium beverage packages, pre-paid gratuities, Wi-Fi, and on some of our voyages, Shore Excursions! However, we knew this going into it, and overall, I would have to say that this particular voyage with NCL exceeded our expectations, and we would consider sailing with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This is a great cruise of four of the major Hawaiian islands; the days on each island were divided well, and we were very happy with NCL and the crew. The ship was beautiful, very clean, and in great condition. Even the public bathrooms ... Read More
This is a great cruise of four of the major Hawaiian islands; the days on each island were divided well, and we were very happy with NCL and the crew. The ship was beautiful, very clean, and in great condition. Even the public bathrooms always looked 'just-cleaned.' We didn't make it to all of the restaurants, but every meal we did have on the ship I'd rate as excellent or very good, ditto for the service. The buffet does get crowded. The NCL employees were very outgoing, and seem to love what they do, which makes a big difference. The concierge (Chris T.) was outstanding, knew us (and many others) by name, and made sure we were having a good time every day . They had great entertainment at the pool, live bands and music, but some quiet time also, and five hot tubs -- one is aft, literally at the back railing, which is an awesome view while the ship is underway. This was our fourth trip to the Hawaiian islands, but our first one that was a cruise, and it was a blast. We would highly recommend this NCL cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I have cruised with multiple cruise lines in the past and have never had such a negative experience. The ship looks extremely old so keep your expectations low or you will be highly disappointed! I would give most of the categories a much ... Read More
I have cruised with multiple cruise lines in the past and have never had such a negative experience. The ship looks extremely old so keep your expectations low or you will be highly disappointed! I would give most of the categories a much lower rating if I could! The embarkation is tedious! Have a very cold bottle of water and prepare to sweat away while you wait to enter the vintage ship! The activities are almost no-existent. There are three extremely small pools and which did not seem hygienic at all! The fitness and recreation room is one of the best areas of the cruise, it is large and very well equipped. The food is horrible, very poor selection. The specialty dinning needs upgrade and they really need to learn how to actually cook the SPECIALTY meals. When having an omelet, request cooking spray otherwise your eggs will be swimming in oil. The lactose free and almond milk are available upon request. The wait staff is rude and often gossip about guests in open areas. The public rooms need serious upgrade, the furniture looks old and dirty, not inviting at all. The best place they have inside for pictures is an old white staircase! really Price of America!!!! They don't have a casino and they have an arcade with about 5 or 6 machines. The shore excursions prices are ridiculous, rent a car and plan your own excursion. This is the only way you will survive this 7 day ordeal. Overall this is not worth the money! Hawaii is a beautiful island with much to explore. Pride of America needs to seriously consider upgrading and providing more activities and a positive guest experience. Its a shame to go on a trio with high expectations and have to return back to write a review such as this! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise for the itinerary which is great (except we couldn't disembark the first day in Maui due to the water level at the pier that day). This was 9th cruise and our first with Norwegian. The cabin was fine ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for the itinerary which is great (except we couldn't disembark the first day in Maui due to the water level at the pier that day). This was 9th cruise and our first with Norwegian. The cabin was fine although much smaller than what we usually get on Disney. The steward kept it very clean. Unfortunately the lights went out in the bathroom and it took them over a day to get it fixed. The dining experience was quite poor. We follow a ketogenic way of eating so it was very difficult to find acceptable food choices. The servers aren't knowledgeable about the details of what they're serving and most of them don't care to find out. The only dessert that we could find without sugar and flour was sugar free ice cream - only in vanilla. We brought our own stevia sweetened chocolate chips so that worked. In the buffet they had to go down to the main restaurant to get us the ice cream. We mostly ate omelets and salads. They put a lot of unhealthy additives in their sauces which seems to be in or on everything. Vegetarian dishes were rare as were gluten free and sugar free ones. It was also a challenge to get real cream for our coffee. The excursion prices were way beyond what we wanted to pay. The hop on hop off tours were great for our budget. For example, on Kuawaii we paid a total of $95 for the river cruise that the ship excursion charged $130/person. We brought our own snorkle equipment and enjoyed using it 3 times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
50th Wedding Anniversary, wanted to celebrate in a special way. The cruise was our first half (seven day Hawaiian Islands) followed by 5 nights in Maui. The cruise was recommended by a friend/colleague and we were not disappointed. So ... Read More
50th Wedding Anniversary, wanted to celebrate in a special way. The cruise was our first half (seven day Hawaiian Islands) followed by 5 nights in Maui. The cruise was recommended by a friend/colleague and we were not disappointed. So glad we structured it this way. The Cruise Team could not have been more accommodating from the time we arrived at check-in until we departed seven days later. Our accommodations were what we hoped for (view/balcony) and well maintained. The buffet was convenient during the day, the evening dining was superb. My wife has a food allergy and the Manager was so accommodating, not a problem. The evening entertainment was great. Very professional, good variety, talented. We did not schedule package excursions but went on our own and were able to make good use of our time and sights. Wife utilized enrichment activities, I used the Fitness Center, each on a daily basis. Highlight was the courtesy and welcoming staff. Great Team on this Cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We wanted to see all the islands and Pearl Harbor. We did the 7 day cruise and 3 day at Marriott Resort and Spa. We saw so much of the island and Pearl Harbor. The day we were going to get on the ship was the day everyone’s phone ... Read More
We wanted to see all the islands and Pearl Harbor. We did the 7 day cruise and 3 day at Marriott Resort and Spa. We saw so much of the island and Pearl Harbor. The day we were going to get on the ship was the day everyone’s phone went off with the alarm the Hawaii had a ballistic missile threat warning. This is not a drill. Which turned out to be a false alarm. Our tour guide was great with taking care of us . We were still shaken up but we ended up having a great day. Our embarkation was fast and simple. We were very happy with our room. The whole ship was spotless. The show were the best we had ever seen. We ate in the dining room and buffet and both was great. There was a older lady that sprayed everyone’s hands going into the buffet and she was a hoot. She was from Texas and so funny. Our room steward was a little lady and she was the best and a smile on her face and ready to help you with anything. We have cruised a lot but never cruised with Norwegian Cruises but it will not be the last. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Summary This was a fun way to get a quick visit to each of the major islands, while having a constant home base. Food was good but not amazing. Staff was generally very friendly and helpful. Cabin was as expected. Pre-Cruise We ... Read More
Summary This was a fun way to get a quick visit to each of the major islands, while having a constant home base. Food was good but not amazing. Staff was generally very friendly and helpful. Cabin was as expected. Pre-Cruise We booked through Norwegian Directly, and they were very good about emailing with updates and things. One thing I didn't love was that I wasn't able to get an idea of the specific activities (White Hot Party, Fabba, etc) that would have been nice to know about when packing. Also, when I called Norwegian to ask a question about the cruise, the person at Norwegian didn't really have any information about our specific cruise (didn't even realize that two of the ports--Hilo and Kona--were on the same island). We booked air travel and pre-cruise hotel through Norwegian as well, but it was very difficult to get any information about the specific flights, and there was no way to change any aspects of the flights that they picked. I understand that it is part of them scheduling group rates, but the airfare seemed about what normal price would have been, but we had no flexibility in scheduling flights. The flights are made through a separate travel agency (not Norwegian) and they weren't very helpful or friendly when I was trying to get information about our specific flights, and the possibility of staying a few extra days. Also, had a hard time finding out from Norwegian about when the shuttle from the hotel to the ship would be leaving so we could plan the day in advance. Finally, when I called the hotel, they looked up some past times for the shuttle, and was able to get a ballpark idea. The flight itself was a good direct flight, and at a convenient time. Shuttle from airport to hotel was friendly and efficient. We stayed at the Aston Waikiki Beach hotel. It was a solid hotel, and we liked that it was one of the closest to Diamond Head, since we planned to hike Diamond Head early the next morning to watch the sunrise. That hike was AWESOME and I would completely recommend it to those who like hiking. We walked from the hotel to the crater (2.1 easy miles on sidewalk but with a definite uphill trend) then hiked to the summit (0.8 miles moderate to strenuous on a mix of sidewalk, and somewhat uneven trail with a significant elevation gain). Views along the way are very nice, and from the top are amazing. Start early to avoid the heat! It does cost $1 per person to enter the crater. Embarkation Luggage pickup was between 10 and noon and the shuttle left for us between noon and 1 PM. The shuttle process was very smooth, and it was nice not to have to mess with luggage. Check-in was efficient and friendly. They do have limitation on what liquids you can bring on, but we were able to bring snacks and other foods without problem. We were on board by about 2:30 and went to the Aloha Cafe buffet right away. Our rooms were ready by about 3:30. Cabin We had an inside cabin, and it was great for what we needed. The shower was smaller than what we had experienced on other cruises, but otherwise we found the room very consistent with other cruise lines. There was good closet and storage space, and plenty of lighting, including lights right by the bed for easy access. I did wish there was an alarm clock or something else to check the time quickly when waking up in the early morning, but we made do with our cell phones. In the future I will just bring a small clock. Our room steward was very friendly, and did a great job of keeping the room tidied, and providing us with the next day's itinerary. We didn't spend much time in the cabin, so it was actually the second to the last day of the cruise when I finally met him. Dining We mainly used the Aloha Cafe Buffet because of the convenience and time elements. The food was very good in my opinion with lots of options, including fresh fruit, and salad options. I am a vegetarian, and was pleased with the options available to me. The Indian, and Asian food part of the buffet was particularly good. We dined twice in the main dining halls, and once in the East Meets West specialty dining room. The food in the Skyline and Liberty were good, but nothing amazing. Options for vegetarians were very limited, and that was part of why we didn't use it more often. We also felt that the difference in the quality of the food wasn't really worth the extra time and hassle. The service was good but again, not amazing. East Meets West was the best dining experience we had. The food was very good, and the presentation was great. Dining staff was very friendly and helpful. Seating was quick and easy. We did take the advice of another cruise critic reviewer and made sandwiches for the day trips on multiple days. I would recommend that, just bring some ziploc bags if you plan on doing that. Overall, the food was good but nothing amazing. Entertainment We watched the opening preview show, and loved the comedian, and made sure to see his shows during the week. We felt like the general dance/singing crew was decent, but clearly more singers than dancers, and didn't make it to any of their later shows. The magician seemed good too, but we didn't feel like it was worth it to choose his shows over other activities. We did make it to several trivia challenges, game shows, and bingo. We loved each of these that we attended. The cruise staff was outstanding. They did a great job of having good energy, and were funny and friendly. The pool volleyball game with the officers was also a highlight. Fun activity to have. I was impressed with the fact that the cruise staff remembered people from the activities, and would chat with them and us later on the ship. We didn't make it to any of the dance parties, mainly because we were tired after fun days adventuring on the various islands. They seemed like fun though! As I mentioned earlier, it would have been nice if they had sent out an email or something about these beforehand so we could have packed for some of the special party nights. The comic was Michael Somerville, and he was fabulous. Extremely funny and topical without being crass or offensive. Even his 'adult' show was very tasteful, and didn't rely on dropping the F-bomb for humor. Just good solid comic content, and even had a great message. Liked it enough to buy his DVD, and will recommend him to others. Ports and Shore Excursions We didn't schedule any excursions through the cruise ship, since we have been to the islands a few times already. We did have an awesome time though! I will preface this with the following disclaimer. I love adventure type activities. Things that get me out into beautiful natural settings and let me use my own legs to get there are my preference. So, here is my take. Maui Loved the Road to Hana. We rented an SUV for 6 of us (there are shuttles to the airport rental places), and downloaded the Shaka Guide to my phone for the trip. I would say this is a MUST for anyone planning on doing this excursion. Everyone in our party loved it, and asked what other guides the company makes. It provided precise and accurate directions to cool stops on the way, including some less traveled ones that weren't on the commercial tours. Had info and recommendations for everything from bathrooms stops to food to waterfalls. The stories the guide has as you drive made the whole thing fun and even the background music was a plus. It was a great day. My only suggestion is to start EARLY! The Road to Hana is an all day adventure, and isn't something I would recommend driving back in the dark. If you can make it all the way to the 7 Sacred Pools and the lower portion of the Haleakala National Park, I would highly recommend it. If you are keeping the car overnight, there are a couple of options for parking. The safest option is to park overnight in the airport parking. That is $15 for overnight, but is monitored, and you are guaranteed not to get ticketed or towed. It does add 45 mins or so to the process though. You can also park in the shopping center parking lot close to the port. It has signs warning that there is no overnight parking, so there is a chance you could get ticketed and/or towed, but several people on the cruise did it and no one had any problems. The shopping center is within easy 5 minute walking distance of the port. We did Haleakala Summit the next day. The sunrise experience there is phenomenal, but you have to make reservations WELL in advance, so be sure to plan ahead. We used the Shaka Guide again, and loved the stories about the Hawaiian hero Maui, as well as tips for places along the way. Be sure to have warm clothing for the summit, since the temperatures are in the 30's and 40's typically. The summit is almost otherworldly in a barren, Martian planet kind of way. If you aren't into that, then it might not be worth the drive. Other people in our group did the Atlantis Submarine tour and a whale watching tour and said both were fantastic. So, if you are more into those things I would recommend that. Big Island We did this one a little differently to do something unique. We disembarked in Hilo and rented a car (again shuttles to the airport rental places), then stayed overnight on the island to see the lava glow at night. If you are going to do this you do need to let guest services know, and we also notified our room steward to save him the trouble on the room. This was really the highlight of the trip. You can find places to stay in Kalapana (the town that was wiped out by the flow in the 90’s) on Airbnb for anywhere from $70-300. Getting out to where the active flow is involves a fairly significant hike across open lava fields. It is tiring, but for me was indescribably worth it. We literally walked among the active flows, and could get as close as we wanted to it. We poked a stick in the moving lava and watched it instantly disappear. It was unbelievably cool, and physically very hot. We did part of the hike at night, but had headlamps and flashlights. If you want tips for this part of the trip I can give you some in a message. The next day we hiked out to the sea cliffs formed by the flows and saw that end of the process. Another amazing experience. We decided to drive around the north side of the Big Island and hit a few waterfalls along the way. Rainbow falls is super cool, and a very short side trip. Akaka falls is also a neat stop, and there are some cool little shops on the way to Akaka Falls State park ($1/person or $5 per car). The first part of the drive around the north-east side of the island is one beautiful valley with waterfalls after another. If you have the time get out and hike in some of these for some road less traveled fun. In Waimea we stopped at the bright blue food truck offering malasadas and roasted corn. Several locals said they were the best on the island and it did not disappoint! Delicious beyond words! If you have the option, the Kailua-Kona airport isn’t the easiest place to return or pick up a rental car, and there aren’t shuttles to the port. So, you will need a taxi or Uber (each about $20-30) if you use an airport location. In Kona you are also tendered on and off the ship, so leave a little extra time for that. The line gets quite long. Kauai We rented a car (shuttles to airport locations), and this time we made a quick trip to Kailua falls. It is a quick stop kind of thing with very limited parking and not a whole lot to do other than snap a quick photo or two, but it is beautiful. Next we did a group ATV tour with Kipu Ranch. It was a fun excursion, and we got to see several places where movies were filmed and a couple of small waterfalls. You can rope-swing into the river where Harrison Ford did it in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You get dusty or muddy, depending on how wet or dry the day is, but it was more fun than I expected (I prefer using my own two feet to get around generally), and the lunch provided was good. Our guides Kyle and Ryan had a fantastic dynamic, and made it lots more fun that it would otherwise have been. We then drove up to Waimea Canyon, which I would consider a must-see element. Amazing views regardless of whether or not you hike into the canyon itself. You can get spectacular pictures just from the road and the overlooks. If you are keeping a car overnight, there is some good parking close to the ship on the side of the road just after you turn right off of the road to the port. The spots on the road are free, but they do fill up if you are coming in late. You can also pay to park overnight in the shopping center closest to the port. It is $20 for that parking. Kauai day two is a short one, and you have to be back on board by 1:30, which meant dropping off the rental car around 1 pm. We opted to do a zipline tour through Outfitters Kauai. It was a fun time, and the Flyline was a particularly fun element. You lay face down as you zoom above the forest and grasses for over 4000 feet. Kind of a fun twist if you are into ziplines. There are other activities that you can do on the island, but you probably want to stay fairly close to Lihue since traffic can get pretty bad. Na Pali Coast cruise The reason for the early departure on Friday is so the ship can cruise past the Pali coast. This is really pretty spectacular. You get a chance to see the rugged cliffs and beaches of one of the most beautiful places on the planet. You can watch from the decks on the port side of the ship, or if you are lucky you can get a window table at one of the restaurants and watch while you eat. I think the direct view from the decks is better and you might get to see whales (we did), and then you can watch the sunset as you turn back toward Oahu. Disembark Process We had the added excitement of being at breakfast on board Saturday morning when the Incoming Missile warning hit everyone’s phones. There were some pretty freaked out people, and obviously the crew didn’t know any more about it than other people, so disembarkation was delayed until it was discovered that it was a false alarm. The crew did a great job of handling the situation, including bringing extra personnel into the common areas to help with the increased traffic caused by the delay. The disembark was pretty smooth, but it is kind of a hassle to get anywhere from the port if you haven’t arranged transportation beforehand. A taxi to the airport is about $30, and everyone will have all their luggage. There are some rental car places that will provide a shuttle to their location, but none of the airport car rental places have shuttles to the port. Final Notes Overall, we had a really good time, and the cruise really is kind of like a tasting menu of Hawaii. You get to sample each of the main islands, and use your sleep time for traveling. While some of the aspects of the ship itself weren’t quite as nice as other cruises we have done, I think this cruise is all about the time off the ship, and it does a great job of providing that. Parties you might want to pack special clothing for. Fabba-Celebration of Abba music, so bring your most fabulous 70’s digs. White Hot Dance party—all the crew are in all white, so if you want to be extra cool bring some whites. Read Less
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