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Tom1234

My review Aug 13, Pride of AM

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Hi, just returned from long flight back to Detroit on Sunday August 21 from the August

13, 2005 Pride of America cruise. Being responsible for booking and researching this cruise for me and 7 family members I was hoping and hoping that things have been worked out on this ship. Sorry to say it hasn't.

 

We did a 3 night pre cruise Moan Surfrider great location, convient to everything shopping,

restaurants etc. The place was build over 100 years ago with two newer wings added.

Great shape and very elegant. If you book through NCL though you will be put in a standard

room usually city side in the original building built. Rooms are nice but noise all night from traffic. We were all so tired from flight that didn't make much difference.

Few of us did surfing lesson on the beach 30 bucks for an hour and amazing that we all got up at least once. After that if you want to rent surf board its 10 buck per hour.

Wikiki beach and shops are busy but still has a lot of charm, and kinda of liked it there. Transfer to pier

was good, long line outside building but moved fast.

 

There were 8 in our party 3 kids under 14-19, two seniors 81, 82, good shape so they kept up with us pretty good, and 3 adults mid 40's. 'We had three balcony cabins 9054, 9056, 9058, cabins are on the smaller size but was ok. 3 people in two of the cabins, if you store

suitcases under beds not to bad. Only couple fights broke out during the week.

Ok, this is where the negative remarks begin. Entering cabins we saw a girl outside them and ask if the were ready for us she said yes, and walked away. All three cabins were not

ready, pillows on coach no pillow covers, dirty glasses in bathroom, and floors were not vacuumed, hair in shower , the worst thing was in one cabin lifting the toilet seat it was still dirty from previous people. Disgusting. We saw the girl go by and told her politely that thing s are not right and asked her if she is are cabin attendant, she said yes and we told her the problem , she said she would look at it and walked away. No name no introduction who she was etc and copped an attitude. We went to Aloha cafe came back about one hour later and still nothing new. For the money being spent between the 3 cabins this was unacceptable and went down to front desk and asked for house keeping manager. Can over look floor not being vacuumed ,, pillows out of place, but when you have a dirty bathroom yuk.

We did speak to manager was very sorry and got on it right away.. said give us 45 minutes

and it will be done. Walked up there and they had two people cleaning. Heard the girl in corner say i hate this job and tossed the vacuum across the floor. From that point on it kind of gave us all an uneasy feeling even looking at this girl in the hallway the whole week.

As the week went on we had shortage of towels, floor not being vacuumed, etc.. small stuff but, it wasn't worth the effort to call and try to fix the problem. The cabin with the dirty bathroom, they did send up champagne for two nights and a flower arrangement, but the damage was done.

 

Food: Two main dinning rooms Liberty and Skyline same menus and little choice each

day. Food was fair, and I hate to say it but the Aloha Cafe almost had better food than the dinning rooms. Service ranged from very very poor, to excellent once we found a good team in the Liberty Jessica and Nathan, Jessica has been serving for two years and Nathan is good guy trying his hardest. We did eat in Little Italy first night. food was ok but nothing special for being a special restaurant, service was good. Girl from Dallas funny and very talkative.

Wednesday night leaving Maui, for some reason it was Mass Confusion in the two restaurants Skyline and Liberty. If you came after 6 PM almost 2 hour wait then poor service during meal. Talking to some of the staff it seems they are promoting people to fast to head waiters, cause people are quitting and they just don't have the experience that they should have. The girl in Liberty that night checking people in was almost in tears with people complaints about the wait. One side note lobster night is Thursday night and if you running late from excursion it is also served in Aloha Cafe. Also it seems the Liberty restaurant has more experience help than the Skyline.

 

Shows: All pretty good, Rebecca Lowe the singer is pretty darn good, Broadway actor and singer . She has her own show the second night I believe. They show

movie in Hollywood in afternoon around 1:30pm everyday.

 

Activities on board: Not many,, how many art auctions can you go to? But being in port everyday you really don't need many. If you have a new bathing suit and want it ruined step into the hot tubs, you will have a new color when you get out.

 

Maintenance: Ship is not up to par, finger prints all over everything, mirrors, resturant walls,

elevators etc... didn't see people cleaning like on other cruises. Shortage of help?

 

Employees: They just didn't seem happy at all ,, little eye contact in hallways, not many smiles, some with unkept appearance and dirty uniforms.

 

Shore Excursions: This saved the cruise, they were very good to excellent. We love the water so did many water activities and sent the seniors on more of the bus tours.

Hilo we all did the Volcano and Rainbow falls tour,, pretty good tour.

Maui we rented two Jeeps and did road to Hana the first day, and Lahina the second day.

Used Thrifty good experience with them.

 

Kona: we did the Zodiac snorkel tour excellent. Parents went on Kona coffee tour.

 

Kaui: Safari Helicopter tour booked on own, great experience probably my favorite thing.

they picked up at pier, 139 bucks booked online for about an hour in air. Kind of nervous,but we had a 40 year marine vet so made us feel at ease up there. In afternoon we did the Sunset sail and snorkel tour along the Napali Coast, glad we did cause ship didn't make it there. Was lot of fun, but snorkel spot was not the greatest compared to Kona snorkel. Parent stayed back at ship for this one,, little rough out there. The sunset was superb.

Day two Kaui, we did Discover jungle falls kayak tour... was good also,, finally got to get under a Hawaii waterfall. Was blessed by the water from Kaui. Afternoon just layed by pool and we departed at 4 with engine trouble so no sail by the Napali Coast,, straight back to Hnl.

 

Did Pearl Harbor tour from ship and drop off to Airport flight at 4:20 worked out good.

Some other highlights ,, sail by lava flow things were aglow,,, forgot what night already...

think it was Sunday after Hilo.

 

Closing thoughts,, Customer service needs help and help fast or they are going to ruin what could be a excellent vacation for people that are paying a lot of hard earned money. Word is going to spread. Ship is new and big but something about it, can't but my finger on it, is not right... hmmm. We did tipping on our own, you have to sign wavier at front desk to do so. If you are booked on the cruise in the near future I would still go and have a good time. If you cruised in the past you will find with an American crew it is different. Leaving ship could see about 20 new employees ready to board ship.

Love the ports of call main reason we took the trip. Excuse me for some spelling mistakes.... Any questions ?

 

Aloha,

Tom

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No questions, but we appreciate you taking the time to write a review. Sorry that you didn't have an excellent time - there is no excuse for poor service and housekeeping problems like you encountered. Hopefully, things will improve and your cabin steward will move on to something that she is better suited for - with another company of course!!

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thanks for the review, Tom.

 

We are booked for next July and had been warned by many people, including our ta and my in-laws not to go with NCL, but we really want to do the PoAm itinerary.

 

Maybe by next July they'll have inproved. If not, I'll definitely bring the disinfecting kitchen wipes and maybe a hand held vacuum :0 .

 

My friend already said, "if they don't wash the towels, we'll launder them ourselves."

 

Glad to hear the ports are wonderful!

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So sorry to hear about your bad experiences. We were on the same cruise and I guess we were lucky. Our room was cleaned very well every day. Had fresh towels2x day. She even cleaned the debris off our balcony since we were aft and things blew off from the aloha cafe due to the wind. Things were not always spotless on the ship. But I attribute that to some of the people I saw doing things like a child trying to write their name on a mirror with the juice he was holding. And the parents were right there!! I certainly agree about the food in the main restaurants. We found some things to be very bland. Agaiin I guess we were lucky. No complaints about the service. Was slow, but we like long dinners on vacation to give us a chance to talk about the day, etc. We only waited about 20 min to get in, but we usually went after 8:30. Those screens were useless. Never had the correct info. Glad you enjoyed the ports so much. Hawaii is truly amazing. Sounds like you picked great excursions too.

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Hi Tom,

 

Thanks for the honest review. We are on the 9/24/05 sailing & will be in a cabin in your area of the ship - I can only hope they've gotten a new cabin steward for that area by then!

 

I would like to ask you about the sunset sail you took on Kauai. Was this an excursion offered through NCL? The only afternoon excursion I see on my list is the Kaplapaki Sunset Sail & that doesn't mention the NaPali Coast. Could you tell me more about your excursion?

 

Also, you did the Pearl Harbor off the ship. Which tour did you take? There seem to be several trips available that include Pearl Harbor. We don't fly home until 8:50pm & I like the fact that you got to the airport at 4:20pm - that's not so long to wait until flight time under the circumstances.

 

Thanks again for the info.

Janet

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The tour Napali Coast Snorkel and Sunset Tour is only offered certain weeks.

NCL charters Captain Andy's craft for this tour. I believe you could book this on your own, but would have to get to point where they leave which is about 35 minuites away. : Captain Andy has web site if interested.

The Pearl Harbor tour we took was Pearl Harbor city tour, got us back to

airport around 1:30pm our flight was at 4:20pm. The other Pearl Harbor tour is longer and you see more of Oahau and is for flights leaving after

6pm but would double check that.

 

Tom

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Hi Tom!

 

Thanks for the review- somehow you managed to get your bad news across without alienating the masses:D The better prepared we are, the more we will enjoy this cruise.

 

I employ 250 people ranging in age from 15-75 and I know how difficult it is to hire the right people and then keep them motivated- NCL has an enormous ongoing task with staffing the NCLA ships. I hope it succeeds as the rest of the cruise sounds great.

 

Hubby and I are going with my parents (ages 70&75) on this cruise. This will be their first cruise. They are in good shape but dad has some problems with Parkinsons so he might be more physically limited than the rest of us. I see you went on some separate excursions- did you have this planned ahead of time? Did the seniors enjoy the coffee plantation? Are there some excursions that all ages and abilities will enjoy? Did the senior members of your group have a good time overall? I would like alot of beach time but I don't think my parents will be into that. What do you recommend?

 

Thanks in advance- I'm sure I'll have more questions:)

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Thanks for the review Tom and for doing it so quickly! That's dedication. Although, I'm sorry the cruise didn't meet your expectations. You didn't say it but hopefully overall you enjoyed your vacation even if it was only on shore with your family. Thanks again!

The cabin with the dirty bathroom, they did send up champagne for two nights and a flower arrangement, but the damage was done.
Do you think that your initial impression of the room steward affected the rest of the trip? I only ask because of what you say here that NCL sent flowers and champagne two times but the damage was done. Sometimes one thing can set off a chain reaction and nothing seems right the rest of the time. Anyway...at least they did something. :)

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Hi Tom,

 

Can you explain how you signed a waiver at the front desk for tipping? I thought it was billed each day no matter what?

 

Thanks

 

Pride of America 08/27/05

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Thanks for the review. Sorry about your dud of a cabin steward. I hope she leaves soon. There is nothing worse than someone who hates their job. Like you I would be OK with a few minor details undone or not perfect but a dirty bathroom - YUCK! I am glad NCL tried to make up for it with some perks but I agree - it should not have happened in the first place. Hopefully housekeeping and other service issues will improve as poor crew members are weeded out and inexperienced ones get experience.

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Tom1234 - so sorry your trip was laden with bad experiences -- My husband and I were on this cruise, as well. While our cabin wasn't the cleanest (carpet not vacuumed well, dust, etc.), by and large it was o.k. We left a sticky note on our door asking for a light summer weight blanket to replace the down comforts and the room steward brought it within an hour or so. We told her we would change the comforts out ourselves, and she expressed gratitude as she said she was going to have to help bring luggage to rooms. I asked why a petite little thing like she is was having to do that, to which she replied, "It's my job". We saw very little of her the rest of the week, but our room appeared cleaner each day for the remainder of the cruise.

 

I agree with an above post about ill-behaved children. No wonder the ice cream machines were broken half of the time as they, along with the milk machines, were "abused" by kids. Also, children were running around unattended all over the place. I thought the wait staff in the Aloha Cafe did an excellent job, considering what they had to deal with.

 

We thought the food was pretty good for the most part, and thought the wait staff in the Liberty and Skyline were friendly (we also met Jessica from Riverside, CA and were impressed with her) -- no complaints there, although we ate there only at breakfast and lunch. Our main disappointment was our experience in the East Meets West Restaurant where we had Teppanyaki. One chef was "manning" two stations as they were a chef short so the food wasn't prepared as well as it should have been. Couldn't fault the chef, though, as he was doing his best under the circumstances. We were seated with a family of 13, and guess who were seated by the children -- yes, my husband and myself. The family interacted with family and the children didn't want to be there -- were sullen and bored -- so it wasn't our best evening.

 

The A/C went off for a few hours one night and our stool wouldn't flush one morning, but both were fixed within a few hours.

 

We saw only one evening show (pretty good) as we were usually tired from busy, long days.

 

We went to a couple investment seminars held in the Diamond Head Conference Room which we thought were very good.

 

One additional thing -- if you have arranged your own transportation, use a taxi from the ship to the airport. We arrranged our own flights, but purchased transfers ($20.00 each = $40.00) from the ship to the airport not knowing how far the pier is from the airport. It would have been less expensive, far less hassle and much faster if we had taken a taxi as it isn't very far to the airport.

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One would think NCL America could work these problems out by now. I sailed on NCL Star the first year she was in Hawaii and the first couple of months were a disaster. By the time we sailed, in August, we could not have had a better experience and they had been getting high marks consistently throughout the year.

 

We'd really like to see this ship come around, as we would like to sail her in the future. I'm certainly hoping NCL is reading this board and others like it, to realize what makes the customer happy, as well as unhappy. A dirty bathroom would totally disgust me, I would probably obsess over it the entire week, too.

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I understand ncl is fanatical about the end of cruise comment cards and I expect they are working as hard as they can to address the service issues. However, everyone who works on this ship must go through a three week maritime program. Add that to the amount of time it takes to advertise, interview and hire people and I would guess it will still be a while before this ship is running smoothly on a regular basis.

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Karen, parents did enjoy the cruise, and for the most part enjoyed the excursions, and liked the shows at night. I did pre arrange the tours before cruise and tryed to set up same time frame we were going on ours. Kona Coffee then and Now in Kona, they really liked, we all went on

Valcano National Park and Rainbow falls tour, was good also.

Probably the one they liked the least was Scenic Hanalei on Kaui.

Did here people saying that the Hollywood in Movies and water falls , was pretty good, on Kaui. We almost had them talked into the Helicopter tour but they decided not to go. Couple afternoons when we were busy they watched a movie in the Hollywood theatre. Their biggest disappointment was the food in the Liberty and Skyline, and slow service. They are really not into beach time either now, so tryed to look for bus tours that didn't have to much walking for them.

 

Host Cecilia, Yes yes yes, the initial impression of the room steward affected the rest of the trip, but you would have to be blind, not to see other problems on ship. I didn't expect a perfect setting, and I am easy to please,

but even the kids noticed a big difference from previous cruises they have been on without input from others. Talking to people on the excursions 80 percent felt the same way, and experienced the same problems. One lady locked herself out of cabin took 4 hours to get her back in. Honeymoon couple had sign on the cabin door saying Congratulations Just Married.

When they got in cabin it was set up for two single people, beds split up.

Took over 3 hours to get someone to fix up beds.

 

SBChamps96, yes billing is billed each day at 10 bucks per person.

So about $70 for the week. I was down by the front desk and overheard

one lady asking to take off service charges. No questions asked, you have to sign paper and they credit you that amount on the last day. We all did the same and tipped the people who deserve it.

 

I really hope things do get worked out, its a great Itinerary, liked staying overnight at two ports. I understand NCL is sinking alot of money into this venture, but it would be best for everyone if another company was doing the same cruise. A little competion never hurt anyone. Don't get me wrong we still had a good time.

Tom

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Thanks for the review Tom. I, too, hope they get their act together. We have a deposit on an August 2006 POAm cruise. We are also pretty easy-going but a dirty room and is unacceptable. Glad you had a good time on the Islands. Erin

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One would think NCL America could work these problems out by now.

 

Although they still have some problems, it doesn't appear to be anywhere near the level that POAloha had on launch last year. If I recall correctly, things really started to take a turn for the better around the third month that ship was sailing the inter-island itineary (Sept 2004), so we'll see what happens in coming weeks.

 

In any case, I don't have that "panicked" feeling I had about this time last year (preparing for our POAloha cruise) while preparing for this cruise. I'm totally excited and look forward to a go-with-the-flow trip in laid back Aloha style:D!

 

I'm still of the opinion that the NCLA experience won't ever be the formal traditional cruising expereince we all love. IMHO, this isn't bad at all, it's just different and needs to be understood by the cruiser before booking.

 

As always, JMHO, and as DW often reminds me:eek:, I'm not always right!

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So here is the thing. Im planning to propose to my girlfriend soon (whom ive known my whole life) and ive been trying to think of the perfect place to do it. Well...ive decided it would be Hawaii, and better yet, a cruise. The only thing is, ive read nothing but bad reviews about the Pride of Aloha, and the Pride of America dosent seem much better apparantly. Id rather a resort be terrible always, than have it be 50/50 because you cant count on a place like that. Im already not booking on the Pride of Aloha, but i dont have enough to convince me to cruise on the Pride of America.

 

Unattained kids, long waits for food, consistant sewage problems?:eek: I can understand these are things that happen and mostly unnavoidable, but to have numerous people posting about the same problems seems a little too "un-kept" for such a big week i have planned. I mean, i want the proposal to be the highlight of the cruise and everything, but I dont want a memory like "thats where your father proposed to me, a floating ship of sewage with nothing but horrible children running around."

 

Any suggestions? Is there another ship that cruises the Islands?

 

I need help!! :confused::confused::confused:

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Thanks for the excellent review. I'm sorry to hear that things are not improving more quickly, but I still have aspirations that they eventually will. It's amazing what a difference an American crew makes. On the one hand they are super friendly and fun to talk with, but on the other hand they really don't know the art of service and seem to cut corners whenever possible.

 

I was on a two-night preview cruise on PRIDE OF AMERICA and fell in love with the ship. I also enjoyed so many of the American crew that were onboard. I liked the ship enough to book a regular cruise to Hawaii which departs on October 1. My one complaint during the 2-night cruise .... the condition of my cabin. Like you, it was appalling. I was in 9138 and the cabin stewardess was a complete disgrace. There were greasy finger prints everywhere, remnants in the toilette from the previous guests, carpet not vacuumed, towels not provided, and beds never made with the bedspread. I complained the first day (it was only a 2-day cruise) and things improved slightly, but not enough.

 

I can tell you I will not tolerate a dirty cabin on the 7-day cruise. I will speak with the Chief Housekeeper the first day if there are problems, and if they are not corrected by the second day then I will have the service charge removed and ask to be switched to a cabin where the cabin stewardess is proficient. End of story. I won't let it ruin my cruise, but I won't put up with it either .... and neither should anyone else. It sounds like your cabin stewardess (and mine) was just plain lazy. Other cabin stewardesses on the ship seem to do just fine.

 

A cruise on PRIDE OF AMERICA is not cheap. In fact it's waay more expensive than other 7-day cruises. There is no reason to put up with substandard conditions.

 

Ernie

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Princess Cruises is a much better line. I speak with 35 years of cruising experience. 1 on NCL was all that I needed to know that of all the lines this is the worst.

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What if you hadnt been cruising for 35 years and this cruise would be the first ever cruise you have been on, would you give it a different review?

 

Just trying to get some non "biased" reviews. I understand you are coming from experience, but this will be both of our first cruises, and to be frank, its going to be hard not to have fun. We are both very openminded, except when it comes to dining out. Service seems to ruin the meal if anything.

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ill look into princess cruises as well now. any word on pricing for two on ANY cruise? whats a good price range for a couple that enjoy privacy rather than organized activities? i plan to book it quite in advance as well.

 

update: dosent seem like princess is cruising Hawaii anymore. cant find it anywhere.

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I looked at that cruisereport link and found no reviews at all for Pride of America, only Pride of Aloha? Am I missing something?

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I am sorry you were not able to enjoy your cruise really. I would just like to start off by saying that i am not knocking america in any means, but, the crew on these ship work very hard for their money, long hours, strenuous work, and its not cut out for everybody. I would also like to add that, i have many different nationalities on my payroll at work, and while i do not run a cruise line, i am aware that for the most part, americans dont have as strong a work ethic as lets say, somebody from the Phillipines. Now i know this does not count for eveybody, but just wanted to add my opinion. :)

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It is important to distinguish the 2 american flagged NCL ships from the rest of the fleet.

 

NCL service elsewhere is generally terrific, and the freestyle dining imo is much better than being tied down to formal seatings. I also appreciate the choice of dining venues.

 

So for anyone who hasn't tried NCL, don't be put off the cruise line as a whole; these problems are very specific to the american crewed hawaii ships. Pity.

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