Truth about cruising to Hawaii
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We sailed on the POAM and the ship was beautiful and clean. Hawaii was also great. The only thing we didn`t like was the food and service in the dining room. Make reservations as soon as you get on board. If you eat in the specialty restaurants, I think you will be OK. It`s worth it to see hawaii.We absolutely agree with the above! Cruised PoAm last week and had a FABULOUS time! Couldn't recommend it any more highly and I have been on numerous cruises on a number of cruise lines! You can read my review on this and the Hawaii boards! We had the vacation a lifetime!!!
1.) The Pride of Hawaii just launched this year. It is the most moderan and newest ship in the NCL fleet. Very similar to Star and Dawn, the flagships of the fleet.
2.) The Pride of America launched in 2005 and was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly. Another new ship.
3.) The Pride of Aloha was launched in 1999 as the Norweigan Sky and underwent a million dollar refurbishment in 2004 and was rechristened as the Aloha. Although the oldest and smallest of the NCL America fleet, I can personally say that she was clean and a great ship.
4.) The service issues in the dining rooms seem to continue to be the biggest issues. I think it all comes down to the all American Crews. Americans just don't like to work the long hours that cruise careers require. By law, the Pride ships, being American flagged, must have 75% American crew and since most of the command and engineering crews are international, that means that dinning and room staffs are almost all American. It has been an issue that has plagued NCL since the launch of the Aloha in 2004.
5.) Food is a subjective topic. If you read about the NCL International ships (as well as the other lines), you will find just as many negative comments about the food on those ships. Too many times, the food reviews get tied in with the service reviews.
6.) The Pride ships are the best way to see Hawaii. It is great to not have to pack and repack and go from airport to hotel to airport to hotel.
7.) Hawaii cruises are different from any other cruise in the fact that they are very port intensive. You basically use the ship for sleeping, eating and evening entertainment. So much of your time will be spent on shore excursions.
8.) All other cruise lines Hawaii itineraries either start in Mexico or LA and require a several day sea crossing which either makes the cruise longer and/or restricts your time in Hawaii.
Hope this helps.
Life is way too short to stress out over a few things that go wrong on vacation.
LOVED the Pride of Hawai'i ship & crew, food & ambience.
Here is another recent thread that has some good insight and information on the topic that you started here.
I've lived in Hawaii most of my life and done most every major cruiseline.
We loved our PoAM cruise overall. We walked off with a feeling of WOW, that was nice, so the people I was with asked to do another one. I'll skip talking about all the things we liked and say that the main dining room food was subpar and had quite slow/poor service. We avoided waits for tables by showing up when the opened. The service and food quality at specialty restaurants Jeffersons and East/West (asian) were really excellent, but the (free) italian specialty restaurant food was just ok. I did read some complaints in reviews about bad room stewards but we were lucky there.
We totally loved the maiden voyage of POH also, wish they did S.F. to Honolulu regularly. I thought the food was significantly improved over the PoAM cruise 9 months earlier, competitive with other cruiselines. But now I read a bunch of reviews complaining about food and I'm second guessing myself. The service was still a bit slow, but we had some better waiters than we had on PoAM. Suite passengers get fantastic service for breakfast/lunch at cagneys, and amazingly yummy berry compotes. I thought the menu & food at EastWest specialty on PoAM was far better than the asian equivalent on POH. POH had fantastic twin pool + Slide setup, while pool setup on PoAM was pathetic. Most people are probably off the ship most days and don't care, but I got good use out of the pool.
I really loved POH and everyone I came across seemed to love it to, so now I'm amazed seeing some bad reviews. I know the June 5th folks definitely seem to have a worse experience than maiden voyage folks.
Well duty calls so I'll cut this short.
I would try another cruiseline first myself.
Take the reviews with a grain of salt and make the cruise what YOU will make of it. Attitude is so important.
NCL Pearl - September 15, 2013
NCL Jewel - September 1, 2012
NCL Star - September 3, 2011
NCL Star - September 4, 2010
NCL Pearl - September 13, 2009
NCL Star - June 18, 2006
NCL Spirit - September 10, 2005
NCL Star - June 6, 2004
NCL Sky - September 6, 2003
We absolutely agree with the above! Cruised PoAm last week and had a FABULOUS time! Couldn't recommend it any more highly and I have been on numerous cruises on a number of cruise lines! You can read my review on this and the Hawaii boards! We had the vacation a lifetime!!!Great review! We are on the POH in Jan. and hope they offer the half price nights in the specialty restaurants as well. That would be great!
Carnival Miracle...........11/04/17 Mexican Riviera, L.A.
Carnival Imagination....03/07/17 Ensenada/Catalina
NCL Jewel...................04/10/16 Mexican Riviera, L.A.
Pacific Princess...........06/08/15 Alaska Southbound
NCL Sun......................05/25/15 Alaska Northbound
Carnival Inspiration......04/27/15 Ensenada/Catalina
Carnival Inspiration......01/23/15 Ensenada, Mexico
NCL Epic......................01/04/14 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Elation............01/17/13 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Crown Princess............02/04/12 S. Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
NCL Spirit.....................03/21/10 Exotic W. Caribbean, New Orleans
NCL Pearl.....................10/31/09 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Fantasy...........08/22/09 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Splendor.........01/10/09 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
NCL Pride of America...05/17/08 Hawaii inter-island, Honolulu
Caribbean Princess.....02/04/07 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess.....02/04/06 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess.....09/03/05 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Carnival Valor...............05/22/05 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Conquest.......11/28/04 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Celebration....10/03/99 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Fantasy..........09/06/93 Nassau/Freeport Bahamas, Miami
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