How is the Pride of Aloha

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#2
6,487 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
She is a fairly new ship which has within the last year had a drydock. The intinerary is wonderful, no sea days. But like the other NCLA ships sailing out of Hawaii, there is no casino, and she has an American crew. NCLA has grown from zero ships to three ships in the past three years, an aggressive expansion. There have been many posts that NCLA has been having difficulty keeping their crews, many quit, and the staff is somewhat short changed. Therefore, there have many reviews of slow service, dinners taking up to 2 hours.

If you don't sweat the small stuff, and slow service, you'll enjoy the cruise and the islands. If you do sweat the small stuff, I would wait another year to see if service and staff numbers improve. NCL has invested a lot of money into NCLA, eventually they will run though those who quit and have enough crew to staff their ships.
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#3
Bergen County, New Jersey
194 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I am not a complainer - I think any cruise is a good cruise.
I always went to the caribbean and have never been to Hawaii.
I like to lay in the sun and go to the beaches. Hoping this is good for that. Have sailed on NCL 8 times and love NCL freestyling. I actually like sea days so plan on staying on the ship one day and enjoy the pool.
Not sure when I will go on this sailing though - I heard Hawaii is a trip of a lifetime? Is this true?
I also heard this cruise calls for a inside cabin since you don't sail much.
Usually get balconies or suites but why waste the money.
I heard the superior inside's are big.

Dave
#5
Bergen County, New Jersey
194 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Why do you say that? Is the POA not good? I have no problems with older ships. I look for a nice sun deck, nice pool and great beaches.
Very easy to please - I do not look to complain - Since I am on vacation as long as I have a comfortable bed/cabin, descent food and lot's of sun and beaches and a nice lounge chair by the pool I am a happy camper.
I've been on 48 cruises so I consider myself experienced cruiser just always went to the carribbean and just thinking of trying something different. Also did N/E and Canada as well.

Dave
#6
Hollywood, CA
329 Posts
Joined May 2006
From what I've heard, Pride Of Aloha is fine; in fact, it is an older ship than the others and is totally decorated in "Hawaiian" style. I find that appealing given the territory it covers. Pride of America's public rooms all look like some area of America, i.e., the U.S. Capitol, the old South, Western decor, etc. This does NOT appeal to me when I am in Hawaii. Take a look at NCL's Hawaii brochure for details.

Also, the cabins on Aloha are actually larger in square footage than on the newer NCL Hawaii ships. You should be just fine on Aloha based on what I have heard and read. Wish I could say I'd been on the ship, but have only done hotel stays in Hawaii. We're thinking about Aloha for this fall, actually.

The cruise, while not offering any full at-sea days, gives one a nice overview of each island via the ports. Since you will begin/end in Honolulu or on Maui, I'd highly recommend you stay a couple of nights before or after in one of those ports.


Originally posted by lovetheocean21
Why do you say that? Is the POA not good? I have no problems with older ships. I look for a nice sun deck, nice pool and great beaches.
Very easy to please - I do not look to complain - Since I am on vacation as long as I have a comfortable bed/cabin, descent food and lot's of sun and beaches and a nice lounge chair by the pool I am a happy camper.
I've been on 48 cruises so I consider myself experienced cruiser just always went to the carribbean and just thinking of trying something different. Also did N/E and Canada as well.

Dave
#8
Columbia, Maryland
353 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Barb Nahoumi
DH and I were on this ship in '02, when it was the Sky. Looking forward to cruising Hawaii on the Aloha next December.

Can't wait.
Norwegian Sky with international crew. Not the same as All American crew or lack thereof.
#9
149 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
NCL has positioned the Pride of Aloha as it's value ship so the pricing, in most cases,will be less then the other two ships. It's decor is a bright Hawaiian theme, Pride of America is "Americanna" themed and Pride of Hawii is also a Hawaiian themed ship but the colors are toned down in soft pastel.

It is a port intensive itin with almost 96 hours of port time. Therefore, cabin choice is up to you. I still prefer to have a balcony because I enjoy being outside and reading or having my morning coffee. The inside cabins on the Pride of Aloha is the smallest of all three ships. See below:

Pride of Aloha:
inside cabins: 121 square feet
Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony: 202 square feet

Pride of America:
inside cabins: 132 square feet
Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony: 178 square feet

Pride of Hawaii:
inside cabin: 143 square feet
Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony: 205 square feet

Hope this helps
#10
Tucson, AZ
978 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
I am way too tired to post a long review but in short, to answer your question I will offer the following comments:

The ship is very pretty, public areas are very nice, clean and really feel Hawaiian. The crew is friendly but not very experienced or efficient and they do appear to be short staffed so there will be long waits for food and you may find the public restrooms missing paper towels and toilet paper on occasion.

The food is very good, however the service is very slow and at times frustrating...same goes for room service.

The cabins are a little smaller but adequate, certainly not fancy. I personally would rather have had a stack of drawers than the refrigerator. The beds are the normal ship hard but all the bedding is changed so you don't have to wonder what germs are on your bedspread. No towel animals or any special attention from the cabin steward, it was more like having a hotel maid daily.

Entertainment is weak with the exception of two production shows that we found very good. There are activities like making Hawaiian crafts, hula lessons, trivia, art auctions, New Years' Eve Party, Volcano Party, etc. and the children on board appeared to be entertained.

The cruise is very port intensive and you may find yourself wishing for sea days but it is still a wonderful way to see a lot of Hawaii in one week.

I would also suggest if you don't want long embarkation/debarkation lines to cruise out of Maui rather than Honolulu. If you want a more "traditional" cruise experience do not board in Maui because you don't have the first night sail away and we felt we were treated a little like we were "cutting in the middle of the cruise", the cruise is designed more for the Honolulu cruise embarkation.

This is a great cruise to save some money on excursions and rent a car, as rental cars are very easy to find and there is much to do without a car as well.

Of course these are my own personal observations, we enjoyed our cruise, but Freestyle is not for us and we didn't have a "normal" experience because our cruise was a "sick" cruise and certain things were changed like the buffet where you cold not serve yourself.
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#11
Paradise (Southern Calif.)
11 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Board with the idea to get off the ship ASAP every morning. Drawer space in the inside cabins is scant, service in the two main dining rooms is slow but the food is good (plan on 2+ hours for a table of 6, faster if only 2 or 4), overall the ship is very nice, the pools are quite nice with few children, room service can be slow but I would advise it for breakfast rather than the buffet or dining rooms if you don't want to get up an hour earlier just to eat. Shows are so-so. But the whole idea of this cruise is to see the islands. We rented a car in Maui and Honolulu with Bargain. They pick you up and drop you off in Maui but only pick you up in Honolulu. With a fast pass we had our car and were on our way in minutes.

We had a real problem with the stewards servicing our room. The room appeared dirty when we arrived including dirt on the coverlett which they
insisted was rust. Our room was not serviced at all the last four days of
the cruise and we had difficulty getting clean towels and used room service to get ice. Complaints brought no resolution. The main steward had a real bad attitude and it appeared there were only two of them for a long string of at least 50 cabins. I hope you are not on the "Maui" side of the 8th deck.

They did not provide robes. Take a top sheet... all you get is a coverlet and I do not think ours was laundered prior to our arrival. The first day out I stopped and bought a sheet. I always take my own pillow. Our room had no toilet brush and due to no services I ended up cleaning the toilet with Purell hand sanitizer and used face cloths. Basically our room was shabby. Hooks missing on the shower curtain and it had some mold on it, the ice bucket was full of hairline cracks and there was no liner provided, the TV remote was broken, and the small sofa was in need of shampooing. But I wasn't there for the room. Still it was totally unacceptable that our room was not serviced.

I would not sail one of NCL's American staffed ships again. They were short handed, poorly trained, and although most were very friendly and obviously doing their best, there were the few I would like to see walk the plank.
I boarded on 6/2 at the height of the virus epidemic. This too was poorly
handled and at the time NCL was not informing passengers. We found out about it from other passengers and waiters/waitresses. I was afraid to touch anything on the ship, sanitized my hands constantly, and got the virus anyway and lost the whole day in Hilo. There were six cabins all around us, then myself, with the virus. Hopefully it will be gone by the time
you cruise.
#12
Arkansas
30,217 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Adrift in Paradise
Board with the idea to get off the ship ASAP every morning. Drawer space in the inside cabins is scant, service in the two main dining rooms is slow but the food is good (plan on 2+ hours for a table of 6, faster if only 2 or 4), overall the ship is very nice, the pools are quite nice with few children, room service can be slow but I would advise it for breakfast rather than the buffet or dining rooms if you don't want to get up an hour earlier just to eat. Shows are so-so. But the whole idea of this cruise is to see the islands. We rented a car in Maui and Honolulu with Bargain. They pick you up and drop you off in Maui but only pick you up in Honolulu. With a fast pass we had our car and were on our way in minutes.

We had a real problem with the stewards servicing our room. The room appeared dirty when we arrived including dirt on the coverlett which they
insisted was rust. Our room was not serviced at all the last four days of
the cruise and we had difficulty getting clean towels and used room service to get ice. Complaints brought no resolution. The main steward had a real bad attitude and it appeared there were only two of them for a long string of at least 50 cabins. I hope you are not on the "Maui" side of the 8th deck.

They did not provide robes. Take a top sheet... all you get is a coverlet and I do not think ours was laundered prior to our arrival. The first day out I stopped and bought a sheet. I always take my own pillow. Our room had no toilet brush and due to no services I ended up cleaning the toilet with Purell hand sanitizer and used face cloths. Basically our room was shabby. Hooks missing on the shower curtain and it had some mold on it, the ice bucket was full of hairline cracks and there was no liner provided, the TV remote was broken, and the small sofa was in need of shampooing. But I wasn't there for the room. Still it was totally unacceptable that our room was not serviced.

I would not sail one of NCL's American staffed ships again. They were short handed, poorly trained, and although most were very friendly and obviously doing their best, there were the few I would like to see walk the plank.
I boarded on 6/2 at the height of the virus epidemic. This too was poorly
handled and at the time NCL was not informing passengers. We found out about it from other passengers and waiters/waitresses. I was afraid to touch anything on the ship, sanitized my hands constantly, and got the virus anyway and lost the whole day in Hilo. There were six cabins all around us, then myself, with the virus. Hopefully it will be gone by the time
you cruise.
Adrift, this has nothing to do with cruising but I have been meaning to ask you "where is Paradise in Southern Calif?" I was born and raised in SCal and can't remember anyplace with a name in similar to Paradise. NMnita
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#13
3,220 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by lovetheocean21
Thinking of the Pride of Aloha- Does anyone think this is a great trip and ship. What do you think?
Hi. There are several reviews of the POA on this board. Be careful when you read them to make note of when they were written. Unfortunately, the POA is just getting over a norovirus so the reviews can be very bad as they are with every cruise line that goes through something like that. Of course, it's up to you how much credence you give a review. I just wanted you to know why some of the reviews aren't the best right now.
#14
St Louis
1,007 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
The cruise on the Pride of Aloha is very good, if you take it for what it is--a floating hotel with meals included. It is the ideal way to see a number of Hawaiian islands with a minimum of "travel hassles"--you only unpack once, you wake up each morning on the island that you will play on that day (no airport waits, security hassles) etc. You are already checked into your "hotel" on each island so there are none of the 4PM check in hasles. You have the option of taking ship excursions or planning your own. Meals are included in your cost, entertainment is available. Pride of Aloha is not luxury, but it is very nice. The price is certainly competitive and the itinerary and the fact that you can embark in either Maui or Honolulu makes this ship a very good choice. Whats not to like? This is the up side.
The down side rides on the shoulders of NCLA and its rapid expansion. As previous posters have stated the service on the ship lacks polish in many areas. There is a definate lack of trained staff, compared to other NCL ships and other cruise lines. We had excellent cabin service, however had many problems with the dining rooms, both in seating and actual food service. I would seriously reconsider taking a Hawaiian cruise on any of the NCLA ships in the near future, giving them time to work out their personnel issues.
We were lucky to not have any "health" issues, but then again, we are avid hand washers and "sanitizers". Passengers can not completely protect themselves from the virus issues on ships, but they can certainly do their part in avoiding them. Proper handwashing, using the sanitizers at every opportunity and carrying and using Purrell imediately before eating (at the table, after handing back the menus to the server, or touching the tray in the buffet), and making it a point to keep your hands away from your face , these will help you protect yourself.
Hope this answers some of your questions. We had a great time even with the service problems. The islands are the key to this cruise-- visit them,enjoy them, learn about them, imagine living a different life on them, then return to your floating hotel for the night. Life is good.
#15
Alabama
507 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by newmexicoNita
Adrift, this has nothing to do with cruising but I have been meaning to ask you "where is Paradise in Southern Calif?" I was born and raised in SCal and can't remember anyplace with a name in similar to Paradise. NMnita
Hello from the Hemet area. I believe Paradise is on the Eastern slopes of the Sierra north of Sacramento, near Chico.
Bev
#16
Minnesota
1,415 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
I have to add some fun to this question on SCal.

"Paradise" is anywhere on the beach between LA and SD. I am there now, in "paradise"

Could not help myself. Sorry!!
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Trust, but verify.---Ronald Reagan

#17
Paradise (Southern Calif.)
11 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I live about 35 miles NE of San Diego in the foothills. Besides panoramic views right across the road is one of the few creeks that doesn't dry out in summer and is not encased in concrete. Higher mountains and the beach are close by east and west. Having moved here from NJ (across the river from Philly) this
is indeed paradise. And the people.... so laid back and friendly!!! Not the stressed out and rude attitudes of the Northeast US. But even "paradise" has it's faults .... they are called freeways.

"Adrift" is my name with the letters scrambled.
#18
MCDONOUGH GA
112 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
adrift i was moved by your 1st post about the sickness on your cruise i have only sailed RCCL i just wanted to say im glad you are doing ok now
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#19
Minnesota
1,415 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Where in relation to Rancho Bernardo? I am now in RB. I want to visit and locate some condos in this area. Retirement is coming and we want to come back home. The people are so friendly and polite. The rude attitudes are present in other places also.
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#20
Houston, Tx
650 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
We were on the Pride of Aloha. We heard many complaints of slow service in the dining rooms, we just made it a point of being there very shortly after they opened and we always had very good service. our meals rarely, if ever, took over an hour, and that included dessert. Some of our friends that were on the cruise went in later, like around 7 or so, and they complained that they had to wait up to three hours to finish eating. We enjoyed the cruise but we found it to be quite busy. We were wishing for some sea days. All in all it is a good value.