12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We took the cruise out of San Francisco where the ship had been in dry dock for 5 weeks. We expected everything to be refreshed and new. Unfortunately, the dry dock repairs were not completed. This created a one-day delay in the sail ... Read More
We took the cruise out of San Francisco where the ship had been in dry dock for 5 weeks. We expected everything to be refreshed and new. Unfortunately, the dry dock repairs were not completed. This created a one-day delay in the sail date. We didn't mind that so much since NCL provided hotel accommodations for an additional day in San Francisco. It gave us an opportunity to visit the Academy of Sciences which was the best "excursion" of the trip. But because the repairs were not finished, there was much of the ship we could not access (one of the pools, the front of the ship closed so we could not use the jogging trail). Also, there were no spa services (something I look forward to with every cruise), as the Spa refurbishing was not completed. The check in process was just awful. Keep in mind we've done this many times. It's never a breeze, but this was the worst. Late, long lines, no special NCL Latitudes Member line, and very poor organization. It took about 3 hours or more to check in. Very poorly organized. And no consistency in directions from check in staff resulting in some people walking straight up to the check in counter while the rest of us took our turn in the various lines (one just to get into the building and another for our "check in group". About the dining: There were new menus in the dining rooms, but apparently insufficient training on how to prepare some of the items. The meal quality was very inconsistent. Sometimes great, but about half the time just awful. Frequently, the meals were not as described (if it said there would be shrimp, scallops and mahi, the scallops were missing). At one point, when asked if we were enjoying the food, we told the officer about the inconsistency. This resulted in getting a personal letter from the a Manager that was full of problems: it was addressed to Ms. and Mrs.... (we are Mr. and Ms.), said he was providing "Chocolate covered strawberries" (we received a box of chocolates) and asked us to call him. When we did, he told us that because we "complained" he got "written up." We told him we did not mean to cause any trouble and that we only responded truthfully to a question. After discussing the issues with the restaurant, I asked him for a recommendation for dinner that night. He said we should try "the garlic sirloin". We went to the dining room and there wasn't any such thing on the menu. Bottom line, this guy didn't know what he was talking about and seemed to be more interested in his own job. One great thing about this ship is the mostly American staff. They were very professional and seemed happy to work for NCL. Most of the dining room staff were very engaging. It always amazes me that staff can do that with each new set of passengers. We especially enjoyed Shay and Daniel in the Skyline dining room. The shore excursions were good. We really enjoyed the Luau and the Kona Land and Sea excursion. We booked a helicopter tour of Kawai via "Safari Tours" (not NCL sponsored shore excursion) and were very pleased. They picked us up at the dock and provided about 50 minute excursion for less than half the price NCL was charging ($125 ea). The entertainment was very good. The cruise director is native Hawaiian and she provided excellent lectures. The cruise director staff was a lot of fun. We made Kukui nut leis and other things. We really enjoyed the Pink's Champagne Bar entertainment by pianist Kevin Brandon and the "Oh What a Night" cover of the Four Seasons. Finally, the cabin size on this ship is very small. We usually get mini-suites, but there are none on this ship apparently. We got a balcony cabin and were horrified at the size of the bathroom and closet. A large person would have difficulty showering. The toilet did not always flush. But our room steward, Chris, was wonderful. Because there were so many problems with this cruise (apparently we were not the only ones complaining), NCL offered everyone a 50% off of our next cruise. We were happy to receive that, although we are not yet sure if that is 50% off any NCL cruise, or if it is only applicable to another Hawaiian cruise. If I want to go back to Hawaii, I might try Pride of America again. I suspect most of the problems were connected to the 5 weeks of uncompleted drydock and lack of staff training for new menu items. Read Less
Pride of America Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 5.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 3.0 3.7

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