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Pride Of America - Passenger Exit Interviews

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July 22, 2005 – Honolulu, Hawaii - This morning the PRIDE OF AMERICA arrived here in Honolulu for the first time with very little fanfare.



I interviewed several dozen passengers as they exited the ship this morning. I focused on the ship more than the itinerary because this was a positioning cruise from SFO to HNL.



For the most part passenger comments were favorable. The ship seemed to have some equipment issues that in some cases they tried to repair but couldn’t, and in other cases they said they couldn’t fix. But these may have to do with the fact that this is a brand new ship.



Experienced cruise passengers, those with several cruises under their belt, felt that the American based crew wasn’t as professional as a “normal” cruise ship crew, but felt they provided a good level of service. Most passengers stated that the staff in both the dinning rooms and cabins was attentive and pleasant.



I was disappointed to see a definite pattern that passengers thought that both the food and service was better in the “boutique/specialty” freestyle dinning rooms, which required an added per person fee. Buffet’s were ranked as being pretty average. Most of the main dinning room comments were “good”. It still seems that “Freestyle” dining gets mixed reviews.



Almost all of the passengers commented that the cabins were small, the more passengers sharing the room the more vocal the complaints about cabin size.



Shows/Entertainment and Kids programs were ranked high. As did all the public areas of the ship.



I spoke to several crew members who said that they did have some staff jump ship during the repositioning, but that NCL had prepared for this and had overstaffed the ship. It appears that many of the staff on the Pride Of America had come directly from the PRIDE OF ALOHA. This may be why I’m still getting negative emails regarding the POAloha.



As of right now I feel comfortable in saying that NCL has managed the launch of the AMERICA much better than the ALOHA. It appears that NCL is providing a level of service that could be considered average in the cruise industry on a ship/physical plant that would rank above average.



Now it’s off to Pier 10, I board the ship in less than an hour for an overnight charity cruise to nowhere.

Photos and additional info will be on my websites next week.




Bruce Murray

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Thanks for posting your observations, this new ship is doing much better than I had expected. Much better news than what happened with PO Aloha, I guess NCL tried a whole lot harder this time around. I don't know when we will get the opportunity to sail Hawaii again, but will look forward to PO America in the future.


I'm not at all surprised by the opinion of the specialty restaurants vs. regular restaurants. In my experience this is the case with all cruise ships that have specialty restaurants, as the food is made to order in specialty restaurants. The traditional restaurants are serving masses of people, there is no way the food can be as good, it is more banquet style than anything else. Buffets will always be buffets, the food is almost always mediocre, but many people prefer quantity over quality with the thought that they can eat quicker, why that is important to so many will always be a mystery to me. These are my personal opinions and relate to all cruise lines, not just NCL.


We are happy to have choices onboard cruise ships. This is the best part of Freestyle cruising. What may be important to one isn't to another. I will gladly give up the balcony cabins, the souvenirs, a bunch of photos and frozen drinks at the pool for the opportunity to have a wonderful meal at the specialty restaurants each evening. Quality over quantity, service over speed, those are my preferences.


I've only been on one NCL cruise so far (Star), but I have to say the entertainment was some of the best we've seen at sea. The cabins were small, but very well appointed and we were very comfortable. We aren't big party people and the ambience of a ship means a lot to us, so we don't need a bunch of neon and glitter. We found the Star to have enough variety for many different tastes and entertainment choices. I'm curious to find out if this is the same case with PO America.


I would love to hear a comparison of this ship to the Star. The exterior of the ship is odd, but I've heard the interior is beautiful.


Thank you for your post:)

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Just curious - what was the purpose of your interviews - personal or business? Did you do these just for your own information, or are you a travel agent, reporter, etc. looking for this info for some other reason?

I guess I'm not surprised the specialty restaurants would get higher ratings from cruisers - if they didn't why would anyone pay extra money to eat there?

Thanks for sharing this information, sounds like Pride of America is off to a pretty good start! :)

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