Please say it is not as bad as...

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163 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We are on the July 10th sailing of POH. We have never been to Hawaii and have planned this vacation for a really long time. We get one vacation a year.
After reading about how bad the service and food is on POH, I am having some severe anxiety.
I realize I should not be expecting to be catered to on NCL, but I can't imagine spending the amount of money we are with air and cabin and post cruise stay and have a vacation from "hell" as some others have.
Can anyone tell be some good things about POH? Can it be very dirty, being so new. I read about the nasty things on POAL from people being sick and it not being cleaned up. I am just disgusted and I am losing sleep from being so worried.
Also, I read POH does not put a top sheet on the bed, only a comforter, are these comforters washed between sailings, I doubt it. Should I bring my own sheets? Can I wash the comforter myself in the laundry room?
WOW! I have never read such terrible comments as I have NCLA. I have read things like, cabin not as clean as I like it, or food was not great, entertainment just okay, not the most friendly staff, but not just completely unacceptable, ruin a vacation of a lifetime comments as I have about the Pride ships.
Please someone help me see the light....
1,415 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Remember something, many people cruise this ship but few write anything when they come back. Remember there are two thousand people on the ship and you receive reviews from maybe 10. Take all the reviews with a grain of salt and you will enjoy your vacation and the great state of Hawaii. The ships are clean or in the process of being cleaned when you board, depending on the time you board. The ships are cleaned many times in a day. If you see something that is not clean called it to your steward's or ship personnel's attention quietly, and it will be resolved to your satisfaction.
All the ships have duvets, wish I had them at home, and are changed before new passengers come onboard but you keep the same one through your cruise with cover being changed a couple of times. Remember food and entertainment are subjective to one's own tastes and people are as different as night and day . Do not allow some people to ruin your vacation. We went to Hawaii 4 years ago and sailed on the Wind. Had a great time but the people that went with us hated the ship. Did it stop us from enjohing the Islands, no and please do not allow a few people stop you from enjoying your vacation.

Have fun and take lots of pictures and make many memories.

PS Remember school is out and kids will be kids and try to riot message boards. Seems that is happening lots lately.
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Trust, but verify.---Ronald Reagan

charlotte nc
469 Posts
Joined Nov 2004

You can have a great time. I think one factor is have you ever cruised before. If you have don't compare it to those other cruises, if you havn't great you have nothing to compare it to.

Its not all bad, and I'll tell you why. Each cruise ship gives each guest a comment card to fill out. At the end of the cruise they are read, and it is determined how many guests left happy how many left mad. While on board the POAL we were hitting close to 80% happy. It wasn't great but the ship had come a long way. Fact is more guests are leaving happy then leaving upset. It needs to be higher no doubt, but u can have a good time. I feel the ships are as clean as international ships, are as safe too. Food might not be as good, and the diningroom service not as refined.

As for people getting sick! It happens on every cruiseline. It happened while I was on board. Wouldn't believe how hard we cleaned, and next cruise we didnt have any new outbreaks. Just part of the business is all.

Go take a positive attitude, enjoy hawaii. one of the best places I've ever been in my life. can't wait to go back
Washington State
2,066 Posts
Joined Jul 2002

No need for you to have severe anxiety, imho. I think you can relax a bit and look at the big picture. I know you have a lot at stake, with the $$ and the time off and all, but I think you are bypassing a lot of the good information. Imo, the most completely disparaging remarks about both ship & crew were made by those who haven't even been on the ship. The majority of cruisers who have reported back here have had a great time and have mentioned how fantastic the ship and crew were.

I think I can help regarding the comforters. The Pride of Hawai'i and many many other ships do not use comforters, as you may know them. They use duvets with duvet cover. Some people have been surprised about not having a top sheet, but with a duvet, the cover serves as the sheet. You do not need to bring sheets from home. If you don't feel comfortable without a sheet, as others have reported, you can get one from the room steward. None of the beds will originally be made up with a top sheet. This is not an omission or dereliction of duty, this is normal. This duvet set-up is very comfortable, and popular, with a lot of cruisers. Some lines even sell their style of duvets, covers, and bedding to passengers, as there is a demand.

One thing I heard about the sickness on the Pride of Aloha (from someone who was actually there) was a guy complaining that they took so long cleaning the ship on their embarkation day, that he was ticked off that they couldn't get in their cabin right away! Now this is something that CERTAINLY wouldn't have made me mad. I'm with honestguy in his assesment of viruses aboard ship. No matter how clean the ship is, if someone walks aboard carrying the virus (they might not even know it), people are going to get sick. The ships do everything they can to stop the spread, but the Noro viruses are extremely contagious. You take the same chance you take going into any confined space with a lot of people (hospitals, schools, nursing homes, malls, etc.). You just wash your hands and take your chances, or stay at home. Yes, I can get sick on a ship, (just like anywhere else)but I have decided not to worry about the prospect.

I am sorry you are disgusted and losing sleep. I don't know if this experience will be right for you or not. I do know that if I were going on the Pride of Hawai'i again on July 10, I would be losing sleep for a different reason...because I was so excited to be back on this ship with this crew and as a bonus, seeing the beauty of Hawai'i.

originally posted by lomillerin
Please someone help me see the light..
At the risk of repeating myself here are some of the reviews from Pride of Hawai'i passengers that have something good to say:

"POH's Wonderful Inaugural Voyage" by LCI 598 l+inaugural

originally posted by LCI 598
"The best part of the ship was the crew, friendly, helpful and sociable to a fault. Yes, minor mistakes occurred, but the crew's ebullience more than compensated....All and all a wonderful voyage, a voyage that exceeded my expectations for a shakedown cruise. Thanks NCL! "
A great, well balanced review, with some REASONABLE comments about possible staffing problems.

or the comments by
bobnsandi: "The cruise/ship/food/everything was fantastic!"

Citygal-Vacationbound: "Everything was great, now back to reality "

Silver Girl: "I'm sure that you will enjoy being on the wonderful Pride of Hawaii as much as we did."

kat28: "It was a fabulous vacation, wasn't it? "...friendliness of the staff and willingness to do whatever it took to make us happy far outweighed the negative. I'd cruise on POH in a heartbeat again ".

RSM2354: "We just got off the POH and had an AB suite. It was wonderful."

D&J38: "It was great to meet a lot of the Cruise Critic members, and we truly enjoyed the royal treatment we received! Our AF mini-suite was wonderful, and our cabin steardess, Carrie, was so nice, cheery, and efficient."

I might suggest that when you read the critical reviews, realize that some people's deal breakers (ie. the top sheet crisis, room service menu was a bad--no cheeseburger) may turn out to be not such a huge deal for you. The warnings about things that could become a big deal (ie. longer than expected service times in restaurants when you have an important deadline, etc) can help you avoid such a frustrating experience.

I hate to see your pre-cruise anticipation turned to pre-cruise anxiety . That's a shame.
Green Bay Wi/Manzanillo MX
1,465 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
I also suffered from SEVERE ANXIETY when I book the Pride of America. Same thing happened when I booked the SUN. My anxiety was caused by reviews on this forum. Both cruises were great. Not perfect- but I don't think anything can ever be perfect.

It seems alot of these new reviews coming in from the POH are written by the same people that wrote the horrible reviews of the PoAM. They just keep changing their screen name to keep their post count low (I'm kidding, but it could ALMOST be true!) For all we know, these are shills from the anti-cruise people in Hawaii or employees of another cruiseline. HAHA!!

We enjoyed the American crew, the ship was nice, the islands were great, we didn't starve, and I didn't have to cook, clean , or work for a week. If you go with the right attitude- you will be fine. If you go looking for trouble, you will find it.
Have fun
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Southern New Jersey
839 Posts
Joined May 2002
I absolutely love the duvets - so much so that I bought one for home. They are so comfortable. On our last morning on the Dream, I saw them bringing clean ones into the hallway to make up the beds for the next cruisers. All we use on our bed now is the bottom sheet and the duvet. It's warm enough for the coldest winter days and so cozy.
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RCCL - Alaska, 10 Caribbean, Canada, Bermuda
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Jan & Lou
from Glassboro, NJ

45 Cruises
95 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
There should be new reviews and comments coming in soon as the cruise ends today for this past week. I am anxious to hear from those folks this week as to their experiences. Hope they are all positive.
163 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Thanks for the positives. Just what I needed (as I am sure others who are getting ready to go needed too).

I know that anyone can bring in a virus or get sick on a ship. I had just read about the lack of cleaning it up and cabins left with, well, gross stuff on toilets and comforters and that is what concerned me.

I have been on RCCL one time and Disney one time. It was great, but I know I am going on NCL to go to Hawaii. We want to see as much of the different islands as possible. I just have never read so many negative things about any cruise or cruiseline as I have about these Pride ships. It seems worse lately.

I am not concerned about the lack of cheeseburgers on the room service menu or even slow service at meals. I like laid back meals as long as it is decent. It doesn't have to be Morton's Steakhouse quality, just good. I am okay with a duvet cover that has been washed. I am mostly concerned about no food being available, no service at all or very unclean bedding/toilets.

Also, employees quitting in the middle of the cruise and not having enough employees is concerning. I could see how difficult it would be to keep up cleanliness, cooking the food, service, if employees quit or they can't hire and train new ones fast enough. (I have no idea whether this is a NCL issue or American crews-not interested in that debate) Just looking at the situation.

I am hoping some of the latest posts are not true. Some reviews seemed almost like a Chevy Chase Vacation.
Paradise (Southern Calif.)
11 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Okay... so I vented about how bad housekeeping was on the 8th deck and being responsible for my becoming infected.

Good things. They pick you up at the airport if you booked your flight with NCL and baggage handling and embarkation is fast and smooth.

I am not a buffet person so I'll never say anything totally positive about that.
Dining in the dining rooms was slow but the food was good and the service was very friendly. Chatting with the crew about where they came from was delightful.

Getting on and off the ship at ports was fast and efficient. Tendering at Kona was also fast and efficient.

I thoroughly liked the "freestyle cruising" concept. Who feels like getting all dressed up every night after hiking around all day? Also the freedom to dine where you want and meeting other passengers in the dining rooms was pleasant.

If you rent a car at any of the Hawaii ports the rental companies have busses to pick you up at the ship and bring you back. You do not need to pay for a taxi. We used Budget in Maui and Honolulu. It cost us about $60 including gas (unlimited mileage) and we got the car in minutes with our Fast Pass.

Debarkation was also fast and efficient. Beings that we never left the USA there was no customs. At Maui airport they had an agricultural check on baggage but it was rather lax and they really were not closely inspecting bags. Just asked you if you had any agricultural items.

I am just glad to hear that NCL is finally admiting there is an epidemic problem on the ship. Although I am sure they are understating how extensive it is at least now they are doing something about it.

Prior to leaving for your cruise I would advise you call NCL and demand an accurate report about the virus. Do not accept vague answers... they are experts at vagueness... like politicians.
5,413 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
I thought you were on the Pride of Aloha not the Pride of Hawaii (which is the ship the OP is going to be on) ? There are no reports of a virus on the POH.
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2,304 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
I haven't had time to read reviews or post one of my own, but I was on the inaugural voyage from San francisco to hawaii and it was our best NCL cruise.

I talked to a lot of people about how they were enjoying it and there were lots of positive opinions, people seemed to be having a blast and feeling good about their cruise vacation. I did hear several complain about slow dining service but I can't remember coming across anyone who was down about the cruise.
Saint George, UT
19 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Alright, I admit it. I'm a clean freak. I have been on NCL 3 times and they have passed the test all 3 times. The test is actually my black light test. I have a small one that I take with me when in hotels and cruises. The cruise lines have all passed the test when hotels usually don't. The NCL Sun used the duvet covers and they were spotless in the blacklight and very comfortable. Relax!
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6,487 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Also keep in mind that there are over 2000 cruisers on a ship, and in most cases we hear of the noros virus only 60-80 people become sick. MORE THAN LIKELY THEY ARE THE 60-80 PEOPLE WHO DON'T WASH THEIR HANDS OFTEN ENOUGH.

But yes, I have caught a cold from school, work, shopping, and theaters. I have yet to catch a cold from a cruise, knock on wood. If you are worried about getting sick, don't ever leave home.

And as for cleanliness on a cruise ship, try doing the white glove trick over the door sill.... Every ship I have been on has been white glove clean.
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How to pack in bundles cushioning your clothes, avoiding wrinkles:
July 2004 Norwegian Spirit
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125 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Dining at home:
30-45 minutes cooking
15 minutes getting everyone to the table
20 minutes eating
20 minutes cleaning up .
Approx 1 1/2 to 2 hours total dining "experience"

Dining at sea (non-buffet):
No cooking
Everyone gets to pick their favorite dish
1 - 2 hours dining experience
Time to actually chat with your family
No clean up .
Approx 1 1/2 to 2 hours total "dining" experience

I keep reading how slow dining can be at sea, but for this Mom, it looks like a pretty good deal to me - I'll take 'slow' over work any day!
76 Posts
Joined May 2006
I'll second that!!! I'm a mom of 5, and I'd eat raman noodles for a week if I didn't have to cook it, serveit, force feed it to a 2 year old, and clean it up. It sounds like most of the complainers, are a little spoiled..... if you know what I mean. Me and my husband are looking forward to 8 days alone doing nothing..... maybe!
135 Posts
Joined May 2006
To address your concern at the beginning of this thread, please do yourself a huge favor and channel your energy into being excited at the prospect of a fantastic, wonderful, unforgettable, exhausting, but exhilirating vacation!!! Just got back from 6/5 POH, and of course there were some moments that weren't so great (like long lines checking back into the ship or whatever) but we aren't in Paradise yet this side of heaven!!! If you do your research into types of things you would like to do after you arrive in order to tailor your trip to your individual or family's interests you will fill all of your senses with the wonder of everything there is to Hawaii. ** Bring water bottles you can carry around everywhere -- we're from Phx. but we still thought it was a bit warm because of the humidity. Sunblock is a must also plus a windproof hat, but you probably already know these things. ** There's so much to love -- all of the colors, the juicy fruits (we're having severe pineapple withdrawal; it ain't the same stateside!!), the brilliant colors of the flowers and the fish, the lushness of the foliage -- I just had a fantastic time and would do it again in the blink of an eye!! I need to write a review but til then here's my two bits!!! Enjoy!!!
97 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
You have to look at the bright side. I have left some reviews about the sailing last week. Now remember these reviews are about the ships and crew not the port. Ports are things you read elsewhere. Here we are getting together to find out about the ships. Well I have to admit that I will not sail with an NCLA ship again even though NCL is my favorite cruise line. But the service was bad for me and hubby and food wasn't good; but that I always knew the food wasn't good NCL; IMO. Cagneys is delicious thoug; so you could always pay $15pp and go there. But it doesnt' matter that much b/c you are never on the ship on this cruise. Unless you plan to stay on the ship the whole time; but I don't know why anyone would go to Hawaii and stay on the ship. But don't worry about it; Hawaii is like nothing else ever experienced. And it definately makes up for the ship. Sure when we were in the ship we experienced the bad service; but the moment we stepped off, we were in paradise and did not give one more thought to it. Just suck it up and remember where it is getting you when you get a crew member argue with you. And actually the comforter is apparently a duvet and is changed after each sailing. The day we got off; they had them hanging on the rails in the hallway ready to change them. But no we didn't get a top sheet until asked and then our room steward wanted us to wait until tomorrow. But actually the duvet is soft and the sheets are like sleeping on fabric softener sheets. But like I said; it will be bad most likely but not really that bad b/c you will barely be on the ship and have to deal with it anyways. For the first time ever we didn't see any of the ship. I didn't get to explore her at all b/c we were never there but to sleep. So don't worry. In hindsite you may decide it was bad service and may even complain a little while on it; but all is forgotten in port. But when we leave our reviews we are honest so that people can make the decision based on the information we give. I wish NCLA would realize they have a lot of unhappy customers and make changes; but as long as people continue to book and pay; they have no reason to change too much.

Oh and about the illness part; NO WAY POSSIBLE. They have hand sanitizers at every single doorway and they tell you to sanitize before you eat or enter the ship. They don't seem to be asking either. On RCCL I remember asking to have them b/c of all the germs on handrails; and they said only if there is an outbreak of some sort. I said that it would be better to prevent it than to wait and let it happen to use them. But NLCA tells you to please sanitize and they say it until you do it.. I was just waiting to see someone say no and see what would happen. I would have no matter what; but still felt that it is a choice and should not be so mandatory or pushed upon you.I am not a kid and would do it anyways, but don't want to be told everytime I step on the ship or in the dining room. Geez, let me be an adult ! But at least they are sanitary!
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Pride Of Hawaii !!!!!!
June 5-2006

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